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a \ 







Lear. Yon see how this world goes. 
Glostek. I see it feelingly.— Shakspeare. 





THE NEW tort; 



K !•* L 



This Volume, the Fourth, which concludes the Voyage 

of Circumnavigation, contains the Andaman Islands — 

. Penang — Malacca — Singapore— China — Straits of Sunda 

. — the Cocoas — Van Diemen's Land — New South Wales — 

"New Zealand— Cape Horn— Bahia— Flores — and return 

to England. 

The First Volume of this Work contained Madeira — 

Tenerifie — St. J ago— Sierra Leone — Cape Coast— Accra — 

Fernando Po— Bonny — Calabar, and other Rivers in the 

Bight of Biafra — Prince's Island — Ascension — Rio Janeiro 

• —and Journey to the Gold Mines. 

The Second Volume contained the Brazils — The Cape 
\y Colony, and part of Caffreland — Mauritius — Madagas- 
• car; tec. 

The Third Volume contained the Cormoro Islands — 
Zanzibar — the Seychelles — Mauritius — Ceylon — Pon- 
- dicherry — Madras — Bangalore — Masulipatam— Visaga- 
+ pfrtam — and Calcutta. 

4 . V: <v * : 


Entrance of the Lema Passage from the China 

Sea - 
Map of Canton River and the adjacent Islands 
Chinese Opium Smokers 
View of Hotun with a Duck boat 
H. M. Ships Imogene and Andromache forcing 

the passage of the Bogue 
View of Lintin, with the Opium Fleet, and* a 

Chinese smuggling boat 


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Retrospect — Narrative resumed-- Departure from the Sand Heads — 
Proceed on the Voyage to China — Drinking Health to the Dead — 
Andaman Islands — Penang — Visit to the Ex-Governor — Suffolk Park — 
Sir Edward Owen — Extraordinary rising of the Sea — Glugar estate 
— Nutmeg trees — Clove plantation — How cultivated — Departure from 
Penang — Malacca — Landing at the Town— Boarding- house— Anglo- 
Chinese College — Chinese Printing — Marriage— Provident care of the 
Emigrant Chinese — Decreasing prosperity of Malacca — Exports — 
Respondentia — Substitute for Glass — Departure — Boats in Chase — 
Singapore — Chinese Residents— -Supplies from Amboyna, &c. — 
Coral, very offensive — Pirates — A Roland for an Oliver — A Sam-pan — 
The Blind — Voyage — Occupation on Ship-board— Islands on the Coast 
of China— Cupidity of a Boatman — Self-sufficiency of the Chinese— 
Compradors — The Lema Passage — Tanka Boats — Mul-pronunciation— ~ 
Macao — Camoena' Cave — British Factory — Barrier Wail — An Earth- 
quake — Removal of the Gentlemen of the Factory to Canton — Sedans 
— Praya Grande — Fortifications — Population of Macao — Advantageous 
territory, if possessed by the British — Eye Infirmary — Skilful Surgeons 
— Introduction of Vaccination into China — Philanthropic attentions of 
medical men I 


Symptoms of a Typhoon — Resistance of the Chinese to Local Improve- 
ments — Curious Petition — All objects attainable in China by Bribery — 
Perambulatory Barbers — Bridal Alms-begging — Divine Service in 
the Chinese Language — Leave Macao for Canton — Chop-boats — 



Definition of the word "Chop" — Inner and Outer Passage — Heang- 
Shan— Arrival at Canton— Customary reception of the Gentlemen of 
the Factory, by the Resident British Merchants— Suburb* of the City 
—Line of Hongs —Amusements on the River— Joss-house— Chinese 
Mode of computing Tonnage— Defect in our Maritime Laws — Bamboo 
Hats — A Lucky Day for the Dead— Siamese Junk— Flower-boats — 
! Grotesque Costume for Wet Weather— Chinese Pleasure-grounds — 
Shops — Provisions at Canton — Method of Snaring Birds ... 54 


Engagement on the River between Mandarin Boats and Smugglers— 
Illegal cultivation of the Poppy— Opium Smoking— Visit to a Hong 
Merchant — Costume of Children— Presentation of a Petition at the 
City Gate — Antiquity of the Custom — Chinese Trades— Firmness of 
the Committee at the British Factory— Preparations for Resistance — 
Chinese Bombast — The Menace evaporates in Smoke — Excursion to 
Whampoa— French Island — The Hoppo's Visit of Measurement — 
Venality of the Custom House Officers'— General Cupidity of the 
Chinese— Duck Boats— A Specimen of the Insolence of the Chinese 
Government — Return to Canton — Fire in the City— Country Ships— 
Fah-tee Gardens — English Jargon — Proffer of Pacification — Chow- 
chow-chop — Sea-stock — Hong Merchants and Hoppo — Chinese 
Monastery and Temple — Boat-racing — Company's Ships passing the 
Bogue — Chinese Dinner — Boatwomen — Canton Market — Specie- 
Airy Barbers and Quack Doctors — Chinese Test of Innocence— Re- 
markable Instance of Politeness in a Mandarin — Leave Canton— Sail 
from Whampoa in the Ern&sd for Lintin— Opium Ships and Opium 
Smuggling— Leave Lintin for Macao— Lord Napier's arrival in Canton 
— Battle of the Bogue — Lord Napier's return to Macao — Emperor's 
Edict 89 


Manners and Customs — Festivals and their Abuses — Distinctions con- 
ferred by the Emperor — Modes of Salutation — Honours and Rewards 
paid to the Aged — Characteristics of Happiness and Misery— Rules of 
Regimen — Popular Superstitions — Vaccination — Badges of Civil and 
Military Ranks — A Dexterous Rogue — Raffles and Lotteries — Instal- 
lation of the Hoppo — Constant Followers — Canton Bankers — Chinese 
Coin— Mountaineeer Tribes 178 



Immoral Character of the Chines e Prevalence of Corruption Social 
Tiee — Chinese Ethice — Wives and Concubines— Grounds of Diroroe 
—Education — Gambling—Pugilistic Code — Suicide ^Criminal Law 
— Hypocriey and Venality of the Authorities-— ExtensiTe and Ingenious 
System of Plunder, by land and water — Kidnapping—Laws and Edicts 
—Despotism of the Magistracy— Prisons t05 


Fine Arts — Printing— The Drama— Jealousy of the Chinese Port and 
Measurement Duties— Sources of the ^leremie— Expenditure— Pro- 
duction and Manufacture of Silk — Emigration— -Trades* Unions — 
Opium — Ten — Restrictions on Foreigner s - Slavery— Blind Mendicants 
—Charitable Institutions— Foreigners Trarelling in China . 24S 

Religion— Language ( • • . . 275 

Outlines of Chinese History t97 

Outlines of Chinese History— continued 23 

Outlines of Chinese History— concluded 343 


Departure from Macao— Passage through the Straits of Bttnca and 
Sunda— Malay Pirates— Tbe Ship Guilford— Enter the Indian Ocean- 
Description of the Cocoas or Heeling's Islands — Ennui on Ship-board — 
Swan Hirer an Estuary — Conflicting opinions of the capabilities of 
the Settlement — Arrival at Van Diemen's Land • 365 



Author disembarks at Hobart Town — Female Factory and Orphan 
School— u Solomon's Temple" — Convict Labour — Maoquarie Har- 
hour — fUaden Farm— Recollections of the early Settlers— Natives 
and Europeans— Visit the Jail— First Races at Hobart Town— New 
Wharf— The Battery— Epidemic and its causes— Leave Hobart Town 
for the Interior— Saltpan Plains, the residence of Mr. Kermode— Ross 
Bridge— -Campbell Town— Wanstead Park— Captain Wood's Farm— 
Sooth Esk Ferry— Launceston— Mymosa Bark— Public Jail— Visit to 
George Town— Anecdote of Native Ferocity— Mr. Walsh, Port Cap- 
tain—Cataract of the South Eek— Supply of Water— Mr. Lawrence — 
Departure from Launceston— Van Diemen's Land Horse Company's 
Establishment — Peosanger — Improvident Speculations — A York- 
shire Farmer— Mona Vale— Return to Hobart Town— Author Embark* 
for Sydney ....... .394 


Departure from Van Diemen's Land — Bass's Straits— Melancholy Fate 
of the Discoverer — Arrival at New South Wales— Author's Reasons 
for abridging his MSS. — Eicursion in the Interior to the Northward — 
First Steam-Packet on the Hunter — Journey to the Southward — Mor- 
rumbidgee— Argyle— Goulburn Plains — Journey to Bathurst,and back 
to Sydney — Author joins a party of Exploration, to find a road from 
Narriga to Jervis Bay— Adventures and Observations by the way — 
Disappointment of the Expectations of the Party — Botany Bay— La 
Penrose's Monument — Tomb of a French Priest — Inscription on a Gum* 
tree— Tablet to Cook the Navigator — Culpable Indifference of the 
Colonists — Soil of New South Wales — Aborigines — Colonisation . 443 


Departure for' England— New Zealand— Description of the Island- 
Habits of the Natives— Passing the Meridian— Frolics of a Whale— 
Ice-Islands— Doubling Cape Horn— Bahia— Dr. and Mrs. Dundas — 
Floras — A Party visit the Island — Ship disappears — Consternation and 
Disappointment occasioned thereby — Re-appearance of the Ship- 
Party embark— A brief account of the Inhabitants of Flore* and Corvo 
—Author's pecuniary arrangements — Arrival in England— L'Envoi . 486 


fa fa 


Retrospect — Narrative resumed— Departure from the Sand Heada 
— Proceed on the Voyage to China— Drinking Health to the 
Dead — Andaman Islands — Penang — Visit to the Ex-Governor 
— Suffolk Park— Sir Edward Owen— Extraordinary rising of the 
Sea — Glugar estate — Nutmeg trees — Clove plantation — How 
col treated — Departure from Penang — Malacca — Landing at the 
Town — Boarding-house — Anglo-Chinese College — Chinese 
Printing — Marriage — Provident care of the Emigrant Chinese--' 
Decreasing prosperity of Malacca — Exports — Respondentia — 
Substitute for Glass— Departure — Boats in Chase — Singapore- 
Chinese Residents— Supplies from Amboyna, Ac. — Coral, very 
offensive— Pi rates »A Roland for an Oliver — A Sam-pan — The 
Bbnd— Voyage— Occupation on Ship-board — Islands on the 
Coast of China— Cupidity of a Boatman — Self-sufficiency of the 
Chinese— Compradors — The Lema Passage — Tanka Boats — 
Mal-pronunciation — Macao — Canteens* Cave — British Factory — 
Barrier Wall — An Earthquake — Removal of the Gentlemen of 
the Factory to Canton — Sedans — Praya Grande— Fortifications 
—Population of Macao— Advantageous territory, if possessed by 
the British — Eye Infirmary— Skilful Surgeons — Introduction of 
Vaccination into China— Philanthropic attentions of medical men. 

I approach the close of my labours with the 
feelings of a traveller who, after a long absence* 
finds himself at last returning home. I reach the 
point of repose with pleasure, not unmixed with re- 

4 B 


gret, and hear gathering round me familiar voices 
burthened with words of welcome and congratula- 
tion. The prospect of concluding satisfactorily an 
undertaking of some magnitude is a source of pure 
gratification, not only as it relates to the accom- 
plishment of a stipulated task, but to the hope that 
the mind, relieved from its present employment, 
may discover, hereafter, even still more pleasurable 
channels of occupation. The tranquillity of the 
traveller's rest, when, the perils and anxieties of his 
varied course over, he remains in seclusion to brood 
on the past, and, perhaps, to meditate new adventures 
for the future, is not altogether a life of idleness and 
dreams. He cannot be quite at ease. A thousand 
memories crowd upon him, he lives again over many 
scenes that come back to him filled with fruitless 
desires or impatient hope ; he again treads the shore 
of a remote land, and feels the breath of an unac- 
customed climate ; he again explores with an avidity 
that knows no sense of fatigue, the forests and the 
cities, the sequestered haunts of uncivilized man, or 
the busy and crowded places where commerce draws 
together a motley assemblage from the equator to 
the poles ; he hears the sounds of an unknown lan- 
guage again for the first time, and struggles through 
a cloud of novelties with the energy of one who is 
resolved to succeed ; he thinks in vain of hours that 
had been wasted upon unprofitable speculations, and 
of how much more wisely such and such opportuni- 
ties might have been used ; he decides with the de- 


cision of experience, and laments. the inadequacy of 
that enthusiasm which, born of the occasion, is but 
too apt to miscalculate its means, and to anticipate 
impossible triumphs over space and time. From 
these contemplations he is naturally led into more 
responsible and active theories. He believes, that, 
with his knowledge thus enlarged, and his judgment 
thus instructed, he could go forth tb new scenes 
better prepared to penetrate and understand them : 
that his next enterprise would be more profitable 
than all the rest : that, being enabled by the results 
of his former wanderings, to compare the characters 
of different nations, and to trace the features of re- 
semblance and of contrast in their customs and 
manners, he could achieve more practical good than 
he had hitherto attained ; and he indulges in the 
sanguine, but natural, prophecy, that there yet re- 
mains for him a wider field, and a more glorious 
work, than had ever before been presented to him. 
It is a part of the constitution of a traveller to look 
back with unsettled feelings, and to yearn for the 
time to come, which he believes to contain the great 
purpose of his life. 

I can hardly, however, take to myself this agree- 
able flattery of the imagination. I have traversed 
so many lands, and ploughed so many seas, that, 
although I have recorded my travels with a pen 
that failed to render justice to my own conceptions, 
I hardly know, were I once more to venture upon 
the waters, to what point of the compass I should 


direct my course. In this volume I conclude a 
voyage of circumnavigation. It would be an affec- 
tation I trust inconsistent with my nature, were I 
not to acknowledge that the favour with which my 
undertaking has been received diminishes much of 
my consciousness of its un worthiness. The peculiar 
circumstances in which I was placed, the novelty 
and hazards of my situation, and the pursuit of 
knowledge under difficulties such as, I believe, 
were never experienced by any previous traveller, 
have helped to propitiate the criticisms of the pub- 
lic, and to acquire for me, in the first instance, that 
kindness of construction which, I am aware, was 
essential to the right understanding of my labours. 
Had I been tried by the ordinary canons my book 
would probably have been set aside. It is because 
the important inlet upon which my predecessors 
have chiefly relied in the formation of their opinions 
is closed upon me that I derive any especial claim 
upon the indulgence of my readers. Could I have 
seen where I have only felt— could I have witnessed 
what I have only heard — could I have watched the 
features and the actions and the trifling details that 
make up the sum of character, and through which 
human motives are as visible as if they were revealed 
in words, instead of being obliged to trust to oral 
acquisition, to the sound of the voice, and the subtle 
transitions of its varying tones, my work would have 
been of a very different kind. But I have been 
obliged to condense and refine my speculations — to 


judge by inference and comparison — to extract, by 
a tedious and severe process, the essence of watchful 
observation — and to rely upon accumulated testimo- 
nies for that information which others obtain at a 
single glance. But perhaps what I have lost in 
vividness I may have atoned for in accuracy. I 
believe that the very necessity of thinking seriously 
and adopting facts with caution may not have been 
unproductive of benefits of another kind. If I can- 
not make panoramas to amuse and gratify, I hope 
I have been enabled to gather some solid statements 
that are not destitute of instruction. This is all I 
could have aimed at — and, if I have foiled, the fault 
is not in the want of an abiding zeal, and the love of 

That I felt acutely the deprivation under which 
I laboured, must be evident from many passages, 
where I have been compelled to trust to the accounts 
of others, and where I have been obliged to treat 
slightly of some features of interest that I would 
have willingly expanded if I could. The luxurious 
atmosphere of the East, tinting the clouds and the 
trees with its own delicious hues — romantic defiles 
and lofty mountains — the surging lake and the 
virgin river, over which a vessel never yet sailed — 
the gloomy forest and the arid desert — these mag- 
nificent sights do not make pages of pictures in my 
work. The picturesque — which awakens in me 
emotions as deep as if I saw it spread before me — 
I have not trusted myself to describe. - I feared that 


my feelings would be misunderstood, and that while 
I merely related that which I felt, I might be ac- 
cused of attempting to delineate that which I could 
not possibly comprehend. Yet, on the summit of 
the precipice, and in the heart of the green woods, 
emotions as palpable and as true have agitated me 
as if with the blessings of sight I could survey the 
whole of the wondrous scenery by which I was sur- 
rounded. There was an intelligence in the winds 
of the hills, and in the solemn stillness of the buried 
foliage, that could not be mistaken. It entered into 
my heart, and I could have wept, not that I did not 
see, but that I could not pourtray all that I felt. 
This is the mysterious compensation of Providence, 
which, in depriving us of one source of delight, ap- 
pears to render more sensitive and perceptible all 
the other means of intellectual enjoyment. Perhaps 
a time may come when I shall be enabled to resolve 
the history of these inward associations into a more 
definite and tangible shape. 

I know not how far my exertions to deserve the 
favour with which these travels have hitherto been 
received may have succeeded, but I believe that the 
subject of this volume will be found to exceed in 
interest and in value that of its predecessors. It 
traces a scene less known, and more curious. It 
cost me more labour of a philosophical nature : I had 
more difficult enquiries to make, and less familiar 
objects to deal with. If I have thrown a single ray 
of light, where light had not fallen before, I shall be 


satisfied. In proportion as the embarrassments of 
my local position increased, and the obstacles ap- 
peared to thicken, my energies invariably rose with 
the occasion. Indeed, this seems to be the quality 
of my mind to which I may refer whatever purposes 
of my life I may be said to have accomplished. I 
can endure any certainty better than suspense, and 
as my situation always exposed me to a great degree 
of suspense in the acquisition of information, I was 
impelled forward with commensurate activity until 
I reached the desired point. To this resolution to 
succeed, strengthened by the cheerfulness that has 
never deserted me even on the most trying occa- 
sions, I am indebted for whatever I have done. The 
sense of past success renders me, perhaps, more 
anxious that I should terminate my undertaking in 
a spirit at least equal to that which has marked its 
progress in the estimation of those who have judged 
indulgently of its merits. I have some reasonable 
hope that my last volume will not do discredit to 
those that have preceded it: and in this hope, trust- 
fully but not presumptuously entertained, I resume 
my narrative " by flood and field." 

Monday y August 9, 1830. — At one this morning, 
having the tide in our favour, with the wind w.s. w., 
we got under weigh, and at six, being well clear of 
the shoals, called the Sand Heads, the pilots left us 
to return to their own vessels, when they soon 
parted company, leaving us to contend against a 
strong s.w. monsoon (which always produces a 


heavy sea), and find our way down the Bay of 
Bengal as well as we could. In the evening the 
General Harris was so near us on our lee quarter, 
that we were afraid of falling on board of her : this 
was highly reprehensible on the part of the officer 
on watch in that ship, whose Commander was the 
junior officer, and whose vessel being to leeward 
prevented the possibility of our keeping away, and 
rendered it a still more imperative duty for them to 
keep a proper distance, especially as the night was 
dark, the sea running high, and the weather very 

Thursday, 12. — We this morning experienced 
a favourable change in the weather, but we had 
neither land nor vessel in sight, and the wind con- 
tinued in the old quarter, veering from s.w. to w. 
The ship's company had extra grog to-day to drink 
the health of George the Fourth, who we were not 
aware had been at that time two months deceased. 
The sailors amused themselves with dancing, sing- 
ing, and acting, in the evening, and they gave some 
ludicrous, and not bad representations of the " Old 
Commodore," and Gentlemen of the Law. 

Friday, 13. — A little before daylight we saw the 
small uninhabited island of Pressurin, and at nine 
we were abreast of it, bearing south, about two miles 

Monday, 16. — This forenoon we saw a group of 
islands bearing from e. by n. to n.e. £ e. supposed 
to be the small islands surrounding Junk-Ceylon, 


a High barren island, celebrated only for the quan- 
tity and quality of the tin that is exported from it. 
The ore is extracted and prepared principally by 
Chinese. During the night we passed the Anda- 
mans, but not near enough to be seen even, had it 
been daylight, and this afternoon we were abreast 
of the Nicobar islands. 

Great and Little Andaman are the most northerly 
of a group of Islands, or Archipelago, extending 
nearly in a southerly direction from Cape Negrais, 
in the Bay of Bengal, towards Achein Head, on the 
north coast of Sumatra ; the southernmost of the 
islands included in this line are called the Nicobars. 
At Great Andaman there are two spacious harbours 
on the east side of the island, each capable of contain- 
ing a large fleet, well land-locked, with good an- 
chorage from five to twenty fathoms, and there is 
excellent fresh water in many places. These bays 
abound with a great variety of fish, and among 
them is some of the finest that are to be met with 
on any part of the coasts of India, namely, pom- 
frets, soles, rock-fish, mullet, &c, also cray-fish, 
prawns, shrimps, and oysters. A number of per- 
sons were sent from Bengal in 1791 to found a set- 
tlement on the island, at Port Chatham, situated 
on the east side near the south end, which colony 
was removed in 1793 to another part of the coast, 
also on the east side, about five leagues from the 
northern extremity, which was named Port Corn- 
wallis, after the Admiral; who recommended the 


change, from wishing to make it a naval station ; 
however, the impenetrable forests with which the 
island was covered, consisting generally of coarse 
poonl and red wood, made the task of clearing and 
cultivating the ground very laborious, and the con- 
tinual rain during the s.w. monsoon, rendered the 
place so unhealthy that after a few years persevere 
ance, it was thought advisable to withdraw the 

The present inhabitants of these islands resem- 
ble the ordinary African Negroes ; their complexion 
is a jet black, their hair woolly, and their stature 
low ; the females have all the peculiarities that dis- 
tinguish the Hottentot women, they go perfectly 
naked, without the least idea of shame, but they do 
not appear on that account to be without their full 
share of personal vanity, for they daub themselves 
with grease, mixed up with red clay, by way of 
ornament; this filthy practice is not however with- 
out its use, as it serves them as a protection against 
the attacks of the ants, and other insects. 

These people have no fixed habitation, but they 
usually live near the coast, prowling from rock to 
rock along the shore, in quest of shell and other 
fish; and these last they catch very dexterously 
with a wooden spear. As they are chiefly depen- 
dant upon the ocean for subsistence, they are so 
scantily supplied in tempestuous weather, that many 
fall a sacrifice to hunger and cold. 

There is no certain account to be gained as to 


the manner in which these islands first became in- 
habited ; but, it is conjectured, that they were popu- 
lated by two Portuguese slave-ships, known to have 
been wrecked on Great Andaman many years ago. 
Very few of the natives were ever known to hold 
communication with the colonists, and those few 
were taken prisoners in Old Harbour, where Admiral 
Cornwallis, in H. M. S. Minerva, landed his water- 
casks on a small island, whither these natives came 
in the night to steal the iron-hoops. They were 
discovered from the ship at the dawn of day, when 
the boats were sent on shore, with a party of ma- 
rines, to capture them. This they accomplished, 
but not without the loss of life, as several natives 
were killed, and many wounded. Report stated 
that these people were cannibals, but this supposi- 
tion merely arose from their eating raw salted meats, 
&c. and may fairly be questioned. 

From the signs which they use, and their con- 
gregational morning songs of praise, both which 
are thought to be derived from the Portuguese, 
they appear to have some notion of a Supreme 
Being, whom they worship after their imperfect 
manner ; but their ideas on religion are extremely 
confused and indistinct. 

Two or three children had, at different times, 
been surprised by the colonists, but only one was 
ever known to become reconciled to the civilized 
customs of Europeans. He was a youth who grew 
up to manhood in the service of Admiral Rainer, in 


whose family he passed his life. A party of colo- 
nists, upon a fishing excursion, one day found a 
young girl about fourteen years of age, in a starv- 
ing condition ; she was brought to the settlement, 
where her wants were relieved by Lieutenant, now 
Sir Thomas Ramsay, but it was difficult to in- 
duce her to wear clothing ; and after having been 
nourished, and taken care of for several weeks, she 
ran away into the woods, and was never more 
heard of. 

Tuesday, 17. — We had squally weather, and the 
wind veered from n.w. to s.w. At daylight saw 
the land, which proved to be Pulo Bouton, and the 
surrounding groups of small islands ; also a number 
of islands along the coast of Quida ; Ladder Island 
bearing w. and Penang, or Prince of Wales' Island, 
s.b. by r. distant 40 miles. 

Wednesday, 18. — We approached Penang but 
slowly, as the wind was light and against us. Ex- 
changed signals with the H. C. S. London, Captain 
Smith, from Madras. At half-past five, the Purser 
and Surgeon left the ship, in a native boat, to go 
on shore ; and, at six, we came to an anchor about 
five miles from the town, and near the H. C. S. 
London, when her Purser, Mr. Lenox, came on 
board to see his old friends. 

The well-known boatman, Abraham Brown, came 
off to the ship with fruit, &c. for sale, and with offers 
of personal services to the officers and passengers. 
He also brought with him a few mangosteins. This 


highly-esteemed fruit is commonly about six inches 
in circumference, of a very agreeable subacid, with 
an exquisitely delicate, yet delicious flavour. It 
is peculiar to the southernmost part of the Penin- 
sula of Asia, and the adjacent islands. I learn it 
has not been yet found to succeed in either of the 
Presidencies. The tree which bears this fruit is* 
very similar to the mango, yet its produce has not 
the least resemblance, either in size, taste, or 

Thursday, 19. — We got under weigh immediately 
after breakfast, for the purpose of getting nearer to 
the town, but the wind was so light that we did not 
reach our new anchorage till near noon. Mr. 
Astell and myself went on shore with Capt. Timing. 
There is a pier at this place, and also a good beach, 
with very little surf, so that the landing, at either 
one or the other, can be effected very easily. Pa- 
lanquin carriages, capable of holding two persons, 
each drawn by one horse, were in attendance, and 
we set out immediately to wait upon the Ex-Go- 
vernor, Mr. Fullerton, who resided at Suffolk Park, 
three miles from the town. The Government-house 
was at a much greater distance, situated near the top 
of a high hill, about eight miles from the town, at 
that time occupied by Lord Dalhousie, who had 
just arrived from Calcutta, in a very bad state of 

Mr. Fullerton had had the misfortune to endure 
two severe and calamitous losses in one day, viz., 


his wife and his government. This unprecedented 
ill-luck had happened on the 30th June previously, 
and the time had been too short to mellow his 
affliction ; we therefore found him suffering from 
very great depression of spirits, and his reception of 
our party was by no means gracious. This was not 
exactly just upon his part, for as Captain Timins 
had been known to him some time, and had at other 
times been compelled, as a mere matter of etiquette, 
to pay him the duty of a visit, he was anxious to 
shew him a mark of respect under adverse circum- 
stances, and had engaged us to participate in the well- 
meant compliment ; he went also to offer what he 
deemed an acceptable present, consisting of a packet 
of English newspapers ; we ought therefore to have 
been received at least with courtesy, for however 
we may suffer under personal affliction we should 
be careful not to wound the feelings of others, by 
slighting well intentioned kindness. We should 
ever bear in mind the maxim of the elegant Chester- 
field, who said wisely in speaking of manner, that 
" some persons will cause more dissatisfaction by 
granting a request, than others by refusing it." 

Mr. Ibbotson had been appointed Superintendent 
of the three stations in the straits of Malacca, (that 
is, Penang, Malacca, and Singapore,) but as the 
residence of the Chief Authority had at the same 
time been transferred from Penang to Singapore, 
Mr. Ibbotson was requested to reside there, with an 
assistant under his immediate direction, at each of 
the other places. 


From Suffolk Park we proceeded to the Admiralty 
House, to pay our respects to Sir Edward Owen, to 
whom I had the honour of being known, and whose 
brother, Captain Owen of the Eden, was one of my 
kindest as well as most intelligent friends. I was 
much gratified by having the good fortune to meet 
the Admiral upon his own station, where he was 
Commander-in-Chief. I had the additional plea- 
sure of being introduced to Lady Owen, and of 
renewing my acquaintance with Sir Edward's niece, 
Miss Cannon. The Admiral kindly offered Mr. 
Afltell and myself accommodation under his own 
roof, and we therefore passed the short period of 
our stay at Penang very agreeably. 

The mornings and evenings are the only portions 
of the day when exercise can be taken with advan- 
tage in this climate, and at these times we made our 
various excursions. There is an Inn at Penang, 
but it is of so inferior a kind that it is seldom occu- 
pied, excepting by officers of ships which touch here. 
Invalids who come hither for the benefit of their 
health commonly take up their abode with a friend, 
or else hire a house for their own use. 

Friday, 20. — We had much rain during the night, 
and forenoon. The tide rose to-day two feet higher 
than it had ever before been known to do. Various 
causes had concurred to produce this effect, there- 
fore the phenomenon was tolerably satisfactorily 
accounted for: first, the wind had been blowing 
hard from the westward, in the Bay of Bengal, for 


several days before; secondly, the spring tides were 
at their height; and thirdly, there had been an 
eclipse of the sun and moon two days previously. 
Much damage was done to the native habitations 
erected near the shore. 

Saturday, 21. — Soon after daylight Mr. Astell 
and myself left the Admiral's house in a palanquin 
carriage to visit Mr. Brown, at his estate called 
Glugar, which lay about four miles distant. This 
Gentleman, on our arrival, proposed that we should 
ascend the hill to view the surrounding country, 
and he provided us with ponies for the occasion, 
the road being too steep and fatiguing for a walk. 
From the summit of the hill there was a most com- 
manding and picturesque view, equal to any that 
could be seen from the highest part of the island. 
After returning from our ride, we examined the 
nutmegs in all their respective stages, and Mr. 
Brown obligingly pressed us to take as many speci- 
mens of each as we thought proper. 

Mr. Brown has a most excellent dwelling-house, 
surrounded by about 1000 acres of land, 400 of 
which was laid out as a spice plantation, partly nut- 
meg, and partly clove trees; the produce of the 
former is from 10,000 to 15,000 per day, and on 
one occasion 24,000 was collected, yet it is not 
considered to have arrived at its highest state of 
perfection, as most .of the trees are young, and many 
are not yet of an age to fructify. 

At Bencoolen, for example, the nutmeg trees have 


been known to continue bearing for forty years, 
during which time the produce has every year been 
greater than the preceding, and up to the expiration 
of the above mentioned time, the trees have con- 
tinued in a most flourishing condition : it is also 
remarkable that this tree continues to bear at all 
seasons, the fruit is gathered singly as they ripen, 
or fall, the proof of their being fit to pluck is their 
bursting the outer shell, and discovering the beau- 
tiful scarlet colour of the mace which covers the 
nut ; the outer shell contains a pulp, which if boiled 
down makes a pleasant jelly strongly flavoured. 
When the mace is removed, the nutmeg still 
remains within a shell about the thickness of a hazel 
nut, and almost equally hard. 

The father of Mr. Brown was the first person who 
introduced the spice tree into this Island, and he 
had so much confidence in the result that he risked 
his fortune in the speculation ; his spirit of enter- 
prise is deserving of commendation, as few people 
would have been willing like him to lay out a great 
sum of money without the remotest chance of 
repayment for several years. The trees are six 
years old before they begin to bear well, at seven 
they double their former crop, and at eight they 
quadruple it. 

The expenses of labour on the estate of Glugar 

are very considerable, but by manuring once a year, 

round the extremities of the lateral branches of the 

oots, which run near the surface of the ground, the 

4 c 


produce is so much increased that the trees are in 
a continuous state of fructification. The nutmegs 
are selected for different markets according to 
their qualities, the best being sent to England, the 
second quality to Bengal, and the inferior sort to 

The Clove Tree grows very luxuriantly, and bears 
well; but it is not so profitable as the nutmeg tree. 
A part of the production of the clove tree is called 
the mother clove, which is the part from which the 
spice grows ; it forms a separate article of trade, 
and is chiefly used in medicine, or by the Chinese 
for embalming their dead. 

About noon we took leave of Mr. Brown, whose 
estate begins now to yield very substantial returns 
for the original outlay expended upon it. This 
gentleman is also the proprietor of several other 
estates in the Island, as well as of some valuable 
property in houses. He is consequently a person of 
very considerable influence, and enjoys the addi- 
tional advantage of being highly respected by all 
who know him. 

About three o'clock Mr. Astell and myself took 
our departure from the house of Sir Edward Owen, 
to return on board the Reliance, which we did, 
commenting gratefully on the gratifying attentions 
we had received from the Admiral and his lady, 
and also from her ladyship's brother, Lieutenant 
Hay, an officer attached to the Admiral's flag. 

The Admiral's ship had been sent into the straits 


of Malacca, to act against the piratical vessels with 
which those seas are infested, and as many com- 
plaints had been made of their daring attacks upon 
the merchant vessels, passing through the straits, 
this protection had been lately sent to their aid. 
The Admiral's flag was therefore, at the time of our 
visit, hoisted in his boat before his house. 

The Malays, who generally profess the Moham- 
medan religion, are fond of change of place, and 
daring enterprises, with the view of supplying them 
with the means for indulging in all the sensual grati- 
fications that their passions and habits of life dictate. 
They are well known to be the most treacherous, 
blood thirsty, and revengeful people on earth ; they 
fight desperately, and have no idea either of giving 
or receiving quarter, so that when you overpower 
them and spare their lives, they only imagine you 
are reserving them for an ignominious death, 
consequently when they are boarded by men-of- 
war's boats, and find resistance vain, they endea- 
vour to secrete themselves ; yet still they persevere 
in - the display of their revengeful disposition by 
watching an opportunity of killing or wounding 
their conquerors, until they are finally disarmed 
and secured ; even then they do not thank you for 
sparing their lives, but display a sullenness of dis- 
position that implies the contempt they feel for the 
lenity you have shewn them. 

On reaching the wharf we found the purser on 
the point of going off in a boat deeply laden with 
sand, but as we were not disposed to risk our lives 


needlessly by going in an overloaded boat, we hired 
one for ourselves, and when we arrived on board we 
had the mortification to learn that the wind would 
not admit of the ship's sailing that evening, Mr. 
Spawforth, therefore, returned to the shore, to 
pay another visit to Mr. Brown at Glugar. Soon 
after he got there, a report was brought that a 
China-man had been murdered on the road about a 
mile from the house. The poor fellow proved to be 
a pedlar who had been waylaid by a party of Malays, 
for the sake of the trifling property which he was 
hawking about. Messrs. Brown and Spawforth went 
to the spot where the body lay covered with boughs 
of trees, he had been stabbed with a cresse, which 
had entered just below the nipple of the left breast. 

We learnt that murders had lately been of fre- 
quent occurrence, and that during the preceding 
month, no less than four had been committed. A 
great reduction had taken place in the police a short 
time before, which was complained of as a serious 
evil, and its inefficiency also much complained of 
where the population was composed of a variety of 
nations, viz., Europeans, Malays, Chinese, Ben- 
galeae, Malabars, &c. 

" Pulo Penang,* or Prince of Wales Island, is 
situated off the west coast of the Malay peninsula. 
Its n. e. point is in lat. 5°. 25'. n. — long. 100°. 1&. e. 
It is computed to contain nearly 160 square miles. 

* Betel Nut Island (from its shape). 


The harbour is capacious and affords good an- 
chorage. Throughout the centre of the island there 
is a range of lofty hills, the highest of which is on 
the western side, 2574 feet above the level of the 
sea. In 1785, the island was granted to Francis 
Light, captain of a country ship, by the King of 
Queda, as a marriage portion with his daughter. 
Captain Light transferred it to the Honourable East 
India Company, and was by them appointed Go- 
vernor of the island. The Bengal Government, 
seeing the island so peculiarly adapted as a mercan- 
tile station for vessels from all the Malay ports, 
the Malaccas, Borneo, Celebes, and the Philippine 
Islands, did not fail to recommend an establishment 
being placed there, whereby their trade would be 
connected with that of China, and from the con- 
duct of the Dutch, it became necessary to have a 
port where the country ships might meet with the 
eastern merchants, not only for the promotion of 
that valuable commerce, but to afford a windward 
station of refreshment and repair to the King's, the 
Company's, and the country ships." — Horsburg. 

From the appearance of the interior, and the 
number of tombs that were discovered there, soon 
after the colony was formed, the tradition of its 
having been formerly inhabited, seems entitled to 
credit; when taken possession of, however, there 
were only a few miserable fishermen on the sea- 
coast. The population of Penang, at the close of 
1833, was said to be 40,322. 


The island of Penang is about three miles distant 
from the main land, and forms a strait of a mode- 
rate length, in almost every part of which vessels 
may safely anchor, but ships of a great draught of 
water, generally enter at the north end, by which 
opening they also leave it, from there being a bar 
at the south end, formed of a knoll of hard sand, 
on which there is only a depth of 15 feet at low 
water. A survey of this part of the strait was made 
by the late Sir Home Popham, when he was a Lieu- 
tenant in the Navy, and had the command of a large 

Sunday > 22. — From the unsettled state of the 
weather, we did not get under weigh till 3 p. m. ; 
and, after clearing the shipping, we were still de- 
tained a short time, waiting for our boat, which 
had been sent on shore to bury a seaman, who had 
died that morning. 

At sunset the atmosphere assumed a very threaten- 
ing aspect, and it was not long before we were vi- 
sited with a most tremendous squall, accompanied 
with torrents of rain. As the wind was against us, 
and we were only in 5£ fathoms water, the captain 
was induced to anchor for the night. 

Monday, 23. — The wind proving fair, at day- 
light we were able to proceed on our voyage. At 
noon, we were abreast of the west side of the island 
of Penang ; while, on the following day, we got 
sight of the high land of Sumatra. 

Wednesday, 25. — The wind had been very light 


the preceding 24 hours, but soon after midnight it 
freshened fast, 

" And all around us one dark sky," 

a symptom well known to mariners who are accus- 
tomed to navigate the straits of Malacca, as indi- 
cating a heavy description of squall, called here a 
Sumatra, because that island lies in the direction 
from whence these threatening appearances arise. 
At halfpast one in the morning, the storm burst 
upon us with its utmost violence ; and had we not 
been prepared for its approach, the consequences 
must have been very serious. With all our care the 
ship was nearly on her beam ends, and three of her 
sails were split in the brails. 

Bursts as a wave, that from the cloud impends, 
And swell'd with tempests on the ship descends ; 
White are the decks with foam ; the winds aloud 
Howl o'er the masts, and sing through every shroud. — 

Popes Homer. 

Monday, 30. — The three preceding days we had 
nothing but light and contrary winds, and anchor- 
ing every night, made but little progress ; however, 
having arrived within a few miles of Malacca roads 
this forenoon, Captain Timins sent one of the boats, 
under charge of Mr. Loveridge, to the town of Ma- 
lacca, in which Messrs. Spawforth, Astell, and my- 
self, went on shore ; and, as it was high water, we 
were enabled to go up the river to the proper land- 
ing-place at the town ; had it been low water, we 
should have been compelled to get out of the boat 


a considerable distance from the beach, to be car- 
ried on shore on men's shoulders over a mud flat. 

On reaching the town, we were conducted to a 
boarding-house, kept by the widow of a Lieutenant 
in the Dutch navy. This house is well known to 
all the officers of the H. C. ships, who commend its 
cleanliness and quiet, and who think the accommoda- 
tions quite of a superior order, considering the place. 

There is one inn in the town, but it is neither so 
comfortable nor so respectable as the boarding- 
house. We passed great part of the evening in 
walking about the town, which is not large, but it is 
clean, and the streets are good. A great number 
of Chinese reside at Malacca, and we heard several 
of them playing upon an instrument peculiar to their 
country, accompanied by their voices ; but we did 
not esteem either the one or the other to be very 

Tuesday, 31. — The whole household was disturbed 
in the middle of the night, by the frightful noise 
of a hen, who was defending her chickens from the 
attacks of a rat. 

We all rose at daylight, and I accompanied Mr. 
Astell in a drive round the town, and a short dis- 
tance into the country, before breakfast. In the 
fbrenoon we visited the Anglo-Chinese College, 
which was at that time under the direction of the 
Rev. Mr. Kydd. There are twenty-two boys ad- 
mitted on the establishment, who are educated at 
the expense of the Society; and there were also 
seven supernumeraries, who derive the benefit of in- 


struction, as well as the use of the books of the Col- 
lege, but who do not reside in it, or derive from it 
any other advantage. All the students are the sons 
of Chinese residents at Malacca, many of whom, as 
well as their fathers, were born in the place, and 
have never been out of it. 

The great objects of the Anglo-Chinese College, 
as avowed in the published plan of the institution, 
is the reciprocal cultivation of Chinese and Euro- 
pean literature: to render, on the one hand, the 
Chinese language and literature accessible to Euro- 
peans ; and, on the other, the English language and 
European literature and science accessible to the 
Ultra-Ganges nations. The Malay language, and 
the Ultra-Ganges literature, are included in this 
general definition. Connected, of course, with these 
specific purposes, is the diffusion of the tenets of the 
Christian faith, to which end the College has con- 
tributed very largely and usefully. It may not be 
uninteresting to state, shortly, the course of study 
adopted in the College. Its students are divided 
into four classes. The first class are occupied with 
the elements of mental philosophy, astronomy, 
geography, and the use of the globes. The second 
class, are employed upon the study of their own 
language ; the elementary parts of both languages, 
arithmetic, and incipient lessons in geography. — 
The third class, study the languages, writing, arith- 
metic, and translation : and the fourth class, princi- 
pally Chinese, with the mere elements of English. 
There is much matter committed to memory in the 


course of these studies ; and although no person can 
more cordially approve of the principles and the 
objects of this excellent institution, I confess that I 
should like to see some infusion into its system of 
those improvements, which of late years have so 
much advanced the cause of education, by dimi- 
nishing its difficulties. The Anglo-Chinese College 
would accomplish wider benefits if it laid less stress 
upon the memory, and more upon the understand- 
ing of the pupils. I merely address myself in gene- 
ral terms to this controverted point, conscious that 
any suggestion calculated to assist so admirable a 
design, will be received in the spirit in which it is 

The first Chinese who settled here married 
Malay women, those who came after them either 
followed their example or married their offspring 
by the first settlers, in preference to bringing over 
their own countrywomen — and, it is said, that the 
Malay women greatly prefer the Chinese, because 
they make better husbands, and are more indus- 
trious and prudent than their own countrymen. 

Mr. Kydd employed three Chinamen to cut 
the characters of their own language out of hard 
wood, from which they, now print. 

Since my visit to Malacca I find that the Rev. 
Samuel Dyer has been employed at Penang in 
superintending the construction of metallic move- 
able types for Chinese characters, and that in 
October, 1833, nearly two hundred varieties had 
been cut. These have superseded an equal number 


of wood ; and it is found that besides the great 
advantage in durability, the process of printing was 
greatly facilitated, which will economise both time 
and funds, and thereby prove the means of enabling 
the Missionaries to distribute a far greater number 
of books and tracts. 

It will be seen from Mr. Dyer's account, that he 
intends prosecuting the work until he has estab- 
lished a font of between 3,000 and 4,000 charac- 
ters, which he states will be sufficient for all mis- 
sionary purposes, but he observes " even a variety 
of 1200 might be fairly said to constitute the mass 
of type required on most occasions," and concludes 
by saying, that " the progress in this laudable under- 
taking will now depend on the means that are 
afforded him, which arises from voluntary subscrip- 
tion ;" and as the sum required is not any very great 
amount, it is to be hoped that every well-wisher to 
the propagation of the Gospel in China will lend 
their aid in support of this work. The average cost 
of each character is estimated to be 70£ cents, (less 
than 3*. sterling.) Now if a subscription was set 
on foot, the amount might be speedily raised in the 
three capitals of the United Kingdom. I will here 
beg leave to remark, that if the friends to the propa- 
gation of the Gospel, among the Chinese and the 
Eastern nations, were acquainted with the important 
advantages that have been derived from the Anglo- 
Chinese College at Malacca, it would receive much 
greater support than it has hitherto experienced. 


The Director informed me that the boys educated 
at this College, easily procured employment as 
clerks, or interpreters, to Chinese or other mer- 
chants in various parts of the Eastern world.* 

The Chinese merchants, mechanics, and labour- 
ers, who have from time to time gone to reside in 
any of the Eastern islands, have generally made it 
a practice to marry females belonging to their 
adopted country — there are, however, some excep- 
tions to this rule, as a few merely remain to realise 
a fortune, with which they return to settle in their 
native land— others, again, migrate to and fro, as it 
suits their convenience or interest, in a manner 
similar to that practised by the Kroomen, on the 
coast of Africa, 

The following extract from the letter of a Chi- 
nese Emigrant in the Straits of Malacca, will serve 
to throw some light upon the Chinese emigrants in 
these Straits, and the Eastern Archipelago. 

" Secret Societies have risen up in all the Set- 
tlements. They are all emanations of the Triad 
Society. They have secret signs and dark phrases 
— a circumstance that identifies them with all that 
odious fraternity. Of late there has arisen a very 
large stock of this Society, consisting of a great 
many men, extremely powerful and violent. They 

* The son of the late Dr. Morrison, was instructed in the 
Chinese language at this College ; this youth, in 1 830, received the 
appointment of Chinese Translator to the British Merchants at 


have assumed the names of the hae-shan-hwuy, ' The 
sea and land society/ and the e-hmg-hwuy, * The 
righteous rising society/ These two Associa- 
tions are scattered over all the Settlements; and 
they all obey the orders and restrictions of the 
heads of the respective Societies, whom they call 
* the great brother.' This stock is divided into 
four, eight, or twelve great stems, as the case may 
be, and from these stems there issue scores of 
branches. Every stem, and every branch, has its 
headman, who is designated senior brother. 

" Emigrants from the hills of Tang (China) are 
called Sin-kih (new-comers). As soon as they 
arrive at any settlement, the brotherhood send per- 
sons to invite them to join the confederacy. If they 
decline they are forthwith persecuted. However, 
the two above-named Societies often wrangle, and 
if you belong to the one, and not to the other, 
you are equally persecuted/' — Chinese Repository, 
Vol. II. p. 231. 

The Triad Society in China is so well known, 
that it will only be necessary for me to observe, 
that their object is the overthrow of the present 
Tartar dynasty, but the time for its taking place 
remains in the greatest uncertainty, as they are 
waiting for some miraculous event to transpire; 
however, the fraternity are in the mean time ex- 
pected to use every exertion in their power for in- 
creasing their numbers, and hastening the eventful 


In one of the streets of Malacca, inhabited by 
Chinese, several of the houses had. each a. coffin 
.before the door ; we were told that these were in 
readiness to receive the first members of the fiunilieB 
that might chance to die, and that it was a common 
case to see such provision made by prudent people 
of that nation. As these coffins are of an uncom- 
mon shape, I will give a description* of one which 
will serve for all. They are composed of four extra- 
ordinarily thick slabs of wood^only the bottom one 
of which is flat, the top and the sides are convex on 
the exterior, and. concave on the interior. The 
planks project beyond the head and foot, similar to 
the chimes of a cask* 

Malacca has lately become very dull both as re- 
gards its society and its trade. The great reduction 
made a short time ago in the Honourable Company's 
Civil Establishment is said to be the cause of the 
first effect, while the increasing prosperity of Singa- 
pore had produced the last. The articles exported 
from Malacca, chiefly for the China market, are 
rattans and other canes, Straits and Banca tin, 
. beetle leaf, and Areka nut, pepper, &c. 

There is a species of trade between the Presidencies 
of India, the Straits of Malacca, and China, well 
•known by thejname of Respondentia. This traffic 
is carried on by a class of natives, principally .Moor- 
men, who trade in the following .manner: — They 
apply to merchants or officers of the Company's 
ships, for a loan of money or goods, either the ma- 


nufactures or produce of the respective Presidencies, 
which they desire to take in the vessel to the Straits 
or to China, for sale. The per centage allowed in 
the sum advanced is as follows: — six per cent for 
Penang, seven for Malacca and Singapore, and 
eight for China. The security, in these transactions, 
is upon the goods shipped, which are not allowed to 
be landed until the freight and interest, as well as 
the principal, or sum borrowed, are paid. The na- 
tive merchants always accompany their goods. Cot- 
ton and opium are generally taken from Bengal and 
Bombay, and manufactured goods or precious stones, 
are taken from Madras. Split rattan-work is not 
unfrequently seta in use at Malacca, aa a substitute 
for glass in a window frame. The celebrated Man- 
gostein fruit is considered to be finer here than in 
any part of the Straits; but unfortunately for us, 
the season for them was just' over. 

" The population of the district of Malacca, in- 
cluding town and country, is computed to be above 
25,000 ; of which two-thirds are given to the town 
of Malacca, and its vicinity; consisting of Chi- 
nese, Malays, Arabs, Klings (or Malabars), Portu- 
guese, Dutch, and English. But the Chinese 
constitute considerably more than one-third of the 
aggregate population of the district." 

Chinese Repository. 

In the afternoon, all our party returned on board 
the Reliance, to proceed on our voyage; but the 
wind being very variable and light, we did not 


leave our anchorage until six o'clock, when we had a 
breeze from the southward and eastward. The night 
turned out dark, cloudy, and threatening, and these 
Straits are proverbial for heavy squalls, with the 
most vivid lightning and terrific thunder, of any 
part of the globe. 

Wednesday j September 1. — At noon, Mount Ophir 
n. n. e. Mount Moir e. n. e. Soon after sunset, 
we anchored for the night, in nineteen fathoms 
water, Mount Formosa bearing e. n. e. 

Thursday, 2. — At two, this afternoon, we saw 
several boats, which we supposed to belong to a 
man of war, chasing and firing at some Malay 
prows, among a group of small islands to leeward 
of us, and at four o'clock, a large ship was perceived 
to windward ; this proved to be H .M. S. Southamp- 
ton, with which we exchanged signals, but had nb 
further communication, as she continued her course 
towards the boats, while we proceeded on our 

At six o'clock, we wer eabreast of the southern- 
most point of the continent of Asia, which is named 
Tung Jong Boles. The wind having changed di- 
rectly against us about an hour before midnight, 
we were obliged to anchor near the Rabbit, or 
Coney Islands. 

Friday, 3. — At daylight we made all sail for 
Singapore Roads, at which place we anchored about 
eleven in the forenoon. 

The purser and surgeon, with Mr. Astell and 


myself, left the ship before she came to an anchor, 
and landed at the town, very conveniently, abreast of 
Mr. Johnstone's house. This gentleman is one of 
the principal English merchants at Singapore, of 
which there were then about half-a-dozen. There 
are, however, a great many merchants, traders, and 
pedlars of various nations settled here, the majority 
of whom are Chinese. The latter had all their 
houses consumed by fire, only about twelve months 
previous to our visit, but before our arrival they 
had all been commodiously and tastefully rebuilt. 
The articles of export are the same as those of Pe- 
nang and Malacca, commonly called Straits pro- 
duce, with the exception of sago,* the preparation 

* " There are ten manufactories for sago at Singapore, which give 
employment to upwards of 200 Chinese, besides a number of car- 
penters, who are constantly employed in making boxes. 

*' The following is a close calculation of the quantity of pearl sago 
manufactured in this settlement, and exported to various parts during 
the year 1833 :— 

To England 

. 17,060 

pecuLs. (133Uba.) 

« f Calcutta 

. 1,700 


** Bombay 



•« Madras 



" China and Manilla 



•< The Cape 



" Hamburg 

• 1,370 


*' America 



" Sundry places, as - 


Ceylon, Penang, ! 

[ 520 


Malacca, &c. 


" The greater part of the 

coarse Borneo sago, imported in the 




of which, for the Indian and European Markets, is, 
I believe, wholly confined to Singapore, where it 
has become a staple article of commerce. This 
place, however, derives its greatest advantage from 
being a free port, which occasions many cargoes that 
are brought here from China, and other places, to be 
landed, and reshipped. This gives employment to 
a number of persons, and a great deal of money is 
circulated, not only for the hire of stores, boats, &c. 
but for the purchase of provisions, masts, and yards ; 
as well as for the repairs done to vessels. Besides 
this, timber is so cheap here, that many masters 
of vessels purchase spare spars to take away with 

Several boats came off to the vessels in the roads 
every day, bringing poultry, fruit, vegetables, &c. for 
the table; and generally a number of birds, which 
come from Amboyna, and other islands of the Eastern 
Archipelago. These consist of maccaws, cockatoos, 
parrots, parroquets, lauries, lauriquets, game cocks, 
and Java sparrows. Turtle are also very abundantly 
supplied by the Malays, and a great variety of 
coral; that which is recently taken from the rocks 
has a most offensive smell, owing to the rapid de- 
composition of the vegetable matter which adheres to 
it. A gentleman was kind enough to put some in a 
locker of my cabin, thinking, perhaps, that I should 
not discover it; but my olfactory nerves must have 

same year, was principally exported to Penang and Malacca, where 
it is used as an article of food by the poorer classes of natives." 


been very imperfect, had they not speedily been 
sensible of the presence of so unpleasant an effluvia. 
The French corvette, La Favorite, left Singapore 
a few days before our arrival. H. M. brig, Zebra, 
and the Southampton, were both cruizing among 
the islands, to check the depredations of the Malay 
pirates, whom it is impossible totally to put down, 
on account of the numerous small islands in these 
parts, forming so many channels for the favourable 
escape of these freebooters; and the character of 
the natives is so congenial to the predatory habits of 
these sea-robbers, that even the crews of the small- 
est boats imitate them in piracies, whenever they 
have an opportunity of effecting their purpose, either 
by stratagem or force. All the Malays are armed 
with a deadly weapon, called a cresse, which is 
carried, sometimes openly, and sometimes secretly, 
about their persons. 

When merchant- vessels are becalmed among these 
islands, or gliding along with a light breeze, these 
people watch, and single out their prey, which they 
silently approach in the dead of night ; and while 
the crew imagine theyaresleeping securely, with pro- 
bably the only exception of the man at the helm, 
they drop quietly and unsuspectedly alongside, 
and leaping suddenly on board, armed with their 
daggers, they murder the whole crew, in detail. 

So soon as they have obtained possession of the 
vessel, they either plunder it and make off, or if 
there is a favourable breeze, they run her on shore, 


under an island, where they ransack her at their 

A friend of mine, a Lieutenant in the navy, who 
commanded a merchant vessel, going through these 
Straits, paid off one of these freebooters in their own 
way. Having perceived something on the water, 
ahead of the vessel, a short time before daylight, 
he suspected it to be a pirate boat, and prepared his 
crew accordingly; then pointing a gun directly at 
the object, well loaded with round and grape shot, he 
waited until it came within a few yards, at the time 
her crew were prepared to board; the gun was then 
instantly fired, and the loss must have been dreadful; 
the extent of it, however, was not known, as they 
contrived to get out a few oars, and pulled the boat 
away with the utmost expedition. 

Saturday, 4. — I slept and breakfasted at the 
house of Mr. Johnstone, where there was a large 
party; and among others, I met a townsman, Lieut. 
Warren, of the 85th Madras Native Infantry, then 
stationed at Singapore, but in daily expectation of 
being relieved by another regiment from the Bengal 
Presidency. The meeting with a townsman in a 
foreign country, who happens to be acquainted witfi 
one's relatives and friends, is very similar to meet- 
ing with a part of one's own family; for a bond of 
union is immediately formed, that is frequently 
never afterwards broken. 

" The population of Singapore, according to a 
census taken January 1, 1833, is 20,978. Of these, 


8,517 are Chinese, 7,131 are Malays, 119 are Eu- 
ropeans, 96 are Indo-Britons, 300 are native 
Christians ; the others are Armenians, Jews, Arabs, 
Javanese, &c." — Chinese Repository. 

About eleven o'clock, I returned on board in a 
small country boat, the name and model of which 
are taken from the Chinese, called a Sam-Pan, 
the literal meaning of which is "Three Planks/' 
In the afternoon, we made sail out of the roads, 
but as both the wind and tide were against us, we 
could not make much progress, and soon after sunset 
anchored for the night. 

Sunday, 5. — We got under weigh at daylight, 
and the weather being very fine, the sail must 
have been delightful to those who could enjoy the 
picturesque scenery which these islands afforded. 

The beauties of the beautiful 

Are veiled before the blind, 
Not so the graces and the bloom 

That blossom in the mind. 

The beauties of the finest form 

Are sentenced to decay; 
Not so the beauties of the mind, 

They never fade away. 

As the wind freshened a little, about noon, we 
were not without hope of entering the China 
Sea, before the close of the day ; for Point Roma- 
nio was in sight, bearing n. e. J e. and not more 
than three or four leagues distant ; the passing 
of which would launch us fairly into it. This 
we accomplished by four o'clock in the afternoon, 
having brought the Point to bear w. of us, and 


Pedro Branco, a large insulated white rock, 9. e. \ e. 
between which and Point Romanio, it was desirable 
to pass, as it would save running to leeward, out of 
our direct course. The channel is not very wide, 
but it is deep, and very safe with a fair wind. We 
were now to make the remainder of our passage 
alone, as our consort from Calcutta, the General 
Harris, had left Singapore the day before we 

Monday, 6. — The account of a sea voyage is al- 
ways uninteresting to the general reader; and as 
there is nothing very particular to remark in a pas- 
sage up the China sea, except that we saw a number 
of pulos (islands), whose uncouth names would not 
be very agreeable to the ears of those who do not 
understand them ; I shall, therefore, only make a 
few cursory observations on the weather, occasion- 
ally giving the latitude and longitude, to shew the 
ship's progress, for the gratification of those who 
may be curious enough to desire to see our situation 
on the map, or to have an idea of the navigation of 
the China sea, towards the termination of the s. w. 
monsoon; at which time the wind does not continue 
very steady, and bad weather may generally be ap- 
prehended, even to a typhoon. There were several 
islands in sight to-day, and three strange vessels in 
the course of the afternoon, but we did not get near 
either of them. 

Sunday , 12. — We made considerable progress 
during the last week, from the constancy of the pre- 
vailing s. w. monsoon ; but this morning, there 


were evident symptoms of a change, from the 

threatening appearance of the sky, the variableness 

in the wind, and the frequent heavy showers. At 

noon we were in lat. 13°. 1 1'. n. — long. 1 12°. 56'. e. 

In the evening the wind gradually veered round 

tromN.w. to n.e. ; and during the night, it went 

quite round the compass ; fearful indications of the 

breaking up of the s.w. monsoon, and creating no 

small apprehensions of a typhoon. 

Thursday, 16. — For the four last days the weather 
has been very unsettled. To-day we were in lat. 
20°. 30. n.— long. 114°. 3'. e.— Wind southerly. 

A sea voyage is so extremely monotonous, that it 
requires some management to enable any person to 
pass their time in an advantageous manner: — in 
the first place, there is so much confusion early in 
the morning, in washing the decks, making sail, 
and putting every thing in order for the day, that 
the utmost the earliest riser can accomplish, is a 
short walk on deck before breakfast, for the sake 
of a little fresh air. For my own part, I generally 
portion out the day as follows : — After breakfast, I 
employ myself with a reader for three or four hours: 
a walk fills up the interval till dinner time. Be- 
tween dinner and tea I pass in conversation at table, 
or a walk. After tea, reading again ; and the re- 
mainder of the evening, when the weather is good, 
I spend on deck, till midnight, or perhaps a little 
later. This exercise usually ensures me repose for 
the remainder of the night. 


Friday i 17. — At break of day we saw a group of 
islands on the coast of China, among which there 
are various channels, convenient for vessels that de- 
sire to enter the Tigris, for the port of Canton. — 
About nine o'clock dark and threatening clouds 
arose over the land; and at ten, we were taken 
aback with a breeze from the northward, and very 
heavy rain. Soon after noon it fell calm ; but, at 
one o'clock, a breeze sprung up from the eastward ; 
and a large Chinese boat having come pretty near 
the ship, one of the men got into a sam-pan (a 
small skiff), and brought some fish to us for sale. 
We inquired the name of some of the islands, which 
he refused to tell, unless we gave him a dollar for 
his information. This every one declined doing, as 
we were determined not to encourage his avarice ; 
who, but a Chinese, would have thought of demand- 
ing money upon such a plea ? This man exhibited 
another peculiarity common to his countrymen ; 
which was, that although he knew only a few words 
of English, and those so imperfectly as to be almost 
unintelligible ; yet, when Mr. Astell endeavoured 
to assist him, by explaining our conversation in his 
own language, he would not condescend to answer 
one word in Chinese. I was afterwards informed, 
that, although Dr. Morrison will sometimes talk to 
them for hours, in their own tongue, there are few 
who will reply to him in Chinese, but persevere in 
speaking an English jargon, which they learn from 
oach other ; preferring this method of acquiring it, 


to learning it correctly from English masters, whom 
they might easily procure. 

At three o'clock a boat belonging to the Compra- 
dor, who had attended the ship on a former voyage, 
came alongside. Compradors are persons licensed 
by the Chinese government, to attend on and supply 
foreign ships with pilots, provisions, &c. They are, 
consequently, responsible persons, and of no small 
importance among theirown countrymen. The word 
Comprador literally means " provider," and each 
of the foreign merchants who reside in Canton, has 
a Comprador, who not only provides his table, and 
every thing belonging to the house, but also hires, 
and becomes responsible for the conduct of the ser- 
vants. As the Compradors know the time at 
which each of the Company's ships are expected to 
arrive in China, they generally keep a boat on the 
look-out, off the entrance of the passage by which 
they are expected ; however, it does not follow that 
they always proceed by the same channel, for it 
must in a great measure depend on the land they 
first make, and that of course on the wind. 

The Chinese are remarkable for the skilful ma- 
nagement of their boats, and it is surprising to see 
the judgment and dexterity displayed by the per- 
sons in the pilot-boats, on approaching vessels at 
sea, for they have been known to run up alongside 
a ship in full sail, going at the rate of eight or nine 
miles an hour, and safely deposit a pilot on board. 
As we approached the land, several boats came 


off to the ship, At six we entered the Lema Pas- 
sage ; and about ten o'clock we anchored in seven 
fathoms water, between the islands of Lantao and 
Achow, where we were about the same distance 
from Lintin Roads, as we were from Macao, that is, 
about twenty miles from each. Macao lies about 
the same distance from Lintin, forming a complete 
triangle. Being thus snugly anchored among the 
islands, our apprehensions of a typhoon were much 
abated; for had one come on — although the ship 
might have been driven on shore — there was every 
chance of the persons on board being saved. 

Saturday , 18. — As Captain Timins intended to 
proceed up the Tigris to the established anchorage 
at Whampoa, Mr. Astell and myself made arrange- 
ments for accompanying the Purser to Macao, who 
was going there to report the arrival of the ship to 
the Chief of the British Factory, and take on shore 
the despatches and letters. 

We left the Reliance in the Comprador's boat at 
daylight in the morning, and anchored off the town 
of Macao about eight o'clock, when we were imme- 
diately surrounded by a number of small boats, 
called tanka boats, pulled by women, all of whom 
made a most hideous noise in their vociferous solici- 
tations to be employed ; and several, who recognised 
Mr. Astell, continued calling to him, " Missa 
Assa," until we were seated in one of their craft to 
take us on shore. These boats derive their name 
from their egg-like form. They are from ten to 


twelve feet in length, and have a kind of house 
in the middle part, formed of a covering of mat- 
ting over a frame-work. Women are always em- 
ployed in these boats, where they cook, live, and 
sleep. In bad weather they are hauled up on the 
beach, where they still serve as a dwelling to their 
owners. They are managed in the following man- 
ner:— one woman stands in the bow, and pulls an oar 
on one side, while another is stationed with an oar at 
the stern, with which she steers, or sculls, as required. 
On landing, I went to an hotel a short distance from 
the beach, where I was soon surrounded by a num- 
ber of officious Chinese servants, some recommend- 
ing their friends, and others offering themselves for 
hire ; to get clear of them, I said, that I wanted 
nothing but breakfast; upon which they enume- 
rated a variety of things ; amongst others, they 
asked if I would have some /toe, and when I inquired 
what was meant by that revolting term, the man, 
with astonishment, exclaimed, " What ! you no like 
lice ?" — As I could not understand him, I ordered 
those things which accorded with my taste and 
knowledge, and made a hearty breakfast upon 
some good fresh fish, bread, butter, and tea ; but as 
the fellow still pressed me to take some of his 
favourite dish, I desired him to bring it, when I 
found that he meant rice, and I afterwards learnt 
that the Chinese cannot pronounce the n, but, like 
some of our northern brethren, convert it into an l; 
for example, for red, they say led. 


Soon after breakfast I accompanied Mr. Spaw- 
forth in a visit to Camoens' Cave, which is about a 
mile from the town of Macao, and is situate within 
the grounds belonging to a house that was built 
some years since, by Mr. Roberts, of the British 
Factory, whose mortal remains are deposited in the 
garden. This ideal cave (I say ideal, because it 
would require the imagination of a poet to consider 
it one), is merely an artificial construction, formed 
by a large opening, made through a projecting lime- 
stone rock, the sides of which answer for walls, and 
the roof is formed of a slab of granite. A real 
summer-house has been erected on the main rock, 
close to the roof; from whence there is a most 
picturesque view of Macao roads, the harbour, and 
the surrounding islands. 

Hie best house and garden at Macao is that 
within these grounds, which was then occupied by 
Mrs. Fearon, whose husband was a resident English 
merchant at Canton. 

In the afternoon I accompanied Mr. Astell to 
wait on the Chief of the British Factory, Mr. Baynes, 
and dine with the gentlemen composing that 
body, where we had an excellent dinner, a la 
mods Angtaise : the servants were all Chinese, ex- 
cepting an English butler. The dining-room was 
very spacious ; and there was a library, with some 
smaller rooms adjacent, and a large balcony, where 
we took coffee. These apartments are'^ for the use 
of the gentlemen of the establishment in common ; 


but the elder members of the body, generally dis- 
tinguished by the title of Supercargoes, have each 
their private residence in the town ; and one of 
them, Mr. Jackson, kindly invited me to take up 
my quarters at his house; an invitation which I 
gladly accepted. 

There is a large house rented by, or belonging to, 
the Factory, for the use of the junior members. 
During their stay at Macao, all the members of 
the Factory breakfast at home, but dine at the ge- 
neral table. At Canton, breakfast as well as dinner 
is prepared every day in their common hall. The 
members consist of a Chief, or President of the 
Council, (called the Taepan, by the Chinese,) 
twelve Supercargoes, and eight junior members, 
who succeed in rotation, as any deaths or retirements 
take place among the higher branch. There is also 
a Chaplain, two Surgeons, a Tea-taster, and a Chi- 
nese Interpreter. I was so fortunate as to meet an 
old acquaintance among these gentlemen, (Mr. 
Hudlestone,) but I was so kindly treated by the 
whole body that I could not but consider them all 
as friends. 

Sunday, 19. — I accompanied Mr. Astell, to attend 
Divine service at an apartment in the Factory, per- 
formed by the Rev. Mr. Vachell. There was a 
very respectable congregation, consisting of all the 
persons belonging to the Factory ; families of the 
resident foreign merchants at Canton; temporary 
residents from India, &c. After church, I received 


a number of visits ; and at three o'clock I went to 
dine with the gentlemen of the Factory, where I 
met two members of the Spanish Factory, and 
Mynheer Neumann,* a professor of one of the col- 
leges at Berlin, who made the visit to China, for 
the purpose of studying the Chinese language prac- 
tically, and to collect a number of works by the best 
authors of that nation. He had already made some 
progress in the language, before he left Germany, 
and knew enough to be able to transact business 
with the people. 

After dinner, I accompanied the Rev. Mr. Vachell 
in a walk to the barrier wall,f on the isthmus which 
forms the Peninsula of Macao, and which none but 
the Chinese are allowed to pass. It is about two 
miles distant from the town, and is the longest walk 
in any direct line, that is to be found on the Penin- 
sula. We wandered along the beach some distance 
before we arrived at the barrier, and passed a Chi- 
nese junk, that had been cast on shore, during the 
violence of a typhoon, about two years before. 

Two days before our arrival, the shock of an 

* Notwithstanding there is a rigid prohibition against Chinese 
books being sold to foreigners, Professor Neumann found no difficulty 
in procuring all that he desired to obtain, and to prevent their being 
seized on the way to the ship, he paid a stipulated sum, for each 
case, to the mandarin, who betrayed the trust to his Government so 
openly, that he even sent some of his men to pack them, at the 
professor's lodgings. 

t The Chinese built this wall about thirty-five years after the 
Portuguese began to settle at Macao. 


earthquake had been felt, both at Macao and Canton, 
a little before midnight, but it had not been so 
severe as to do any^injury. 

Monday, 20. — I removed from my hotel to the 
house of Mr. Jackson, whom I accompanied to dine 
at the Factory, where I met Mr. Chinnery, a cele- 
brated artist, who had resided many years in Cal- 
cutta, and whose portraits and paintings are there 
much admired. He requested me to sit to him for 
my portrait, and I was prevailed upon to accede to 
his wish. 

Tuesday, 21. — Mr. Lindsay, the Secretary to the 
Factory, left Macao for Canton, this evening, to open 
the business of the season; and he was to be fol- 
lowed by the rest of the members, in a few days ; 
who are all obliged to reside at Canton, from the 
time the business of the season commences, until 
the last of the H. C. ships leave China; a period 
of time which usually occupies between four and 
five months. The remaining part of the year, these 
gentlemen pass at Macao, which is a more cool and 
pleasant residence, and where, during the business 
season, their wives and families remain. An inno- 
vation of this rule had been attempted the season 
before, and an effort made to establish the right of 
taking European ladies to Canton. But more will 
be said hereafter upon this subject. 

Wednesday, 22. — The weather became finer and 
apparently more settled, to-day. The H. C. S. Lon- 
don, from Madras, passed through Macao roads, for 


Lintin; and her purser, Mr. Lenox, with Sir James 
Home, came on shore at Macao. 

During the following week, nothing remarkable 
occurred; but as every thing was new to me, I found 
sufficient variety of interest to pass my time very 
agreeably. Besides having more society than I 
expected, the walks were more numerous than 
could have been looked for in so small a place.* 
The middle of the day was too hot for exercise, 
and the gentlemen, as well as ladies, were in the 
habit of being carried about in a kind of sedan- 
chair, made of wicker-work; but in the evening, 
every one takes walking exercise, as there are not 
more than two or three horses in the town, and they 
belonged to some of the gentlemen of the Factory. 
The space in any direction I have already observed 
is not considerable, and the roads, or rather foot- 
-paths, are very bad, as are likewise the streets, 
indeed there is but one good promenade in the 
town, called the Praya Grande, between the line of 
buildings, that form the Factory, and the sea, 
extending nearly half a mile ; but it is so near the 
shore, that in bad weather the sea breaks over it, 
and sometimes does great injury. 

Macao was strongly fortified by the Portuguese, 
after the unsuccessful attack made upon it by the 
Dutch in 1622, with fifteen sail of vessels under 

* The circuit of the Peninsula is said to be eight English miles, 
its greatest length three, and its breadth about one. 


the command of Cornelius Rogers, who bombarded 
the town on the 23rd of June, and on the following 
day landed about 900 men in Cacilha Bay, where 
they were repulsed with great slaughter. This at- 
tack induced the Portuguese to build walls and forts, 
but as they had no cannon, they applied to the Gover- 
nor of Manilla, who sent them an engineer to founder 
cannon for their forts, all of which I visited at 
different times. That called the Guia Fort is the 
highest in the island, and is difficult of access. It 
mounts 20 guns of different sizes, and commands 
the roads, town, &c. The Monte Fort is in the town 
on a hill of moderate elevation, just at the back 
of the Governor's house, which stands near the 
Praya Grande. This fortification had 41 pieces 
of ordnance mounted, of various calibre, besides 
six small ship guns, for saluting the Chinese man- 
darins. Among the former were two large brass 
pieces, one 14 feet 10 inches long, cast in the place 
in 1626 ; and the other in 1628, 15 feet 8 inches in 
length. The Bar Fort, as its name would imply, 
is built near the entrance of the harbour, named 
Cacilha Bay, where none but Portuguese or Spanish 
vessels are allowed to enter, excepting under par- 
ticular circumstances. The yacht* which belongs 
to the gentlemen of the British Factory, is one 
exception to this rule. This Fort is built for three 

* This Is a cutter of 15 tons, the frame of which was built at 
Cowea, brought out in one of the H. C. ships, and put together 
at Macao. 

4 * 


tiers of guns; the upper tier is at present unoccu- 
pied, and on the two others there are eighteen 
mounted. The fourth and last Fort is called the 
Franciscan, situate at the n.e. point of land, and at 
the termination of the Praya Grande in thatdirection. 
This Fort likewise mounts 18 guns, of different sizes, 
amongst which is a brass gun of 16 feet 4 inches in 

From this statement it would appear that Macao 
is a strongly fortified place, which it would be if 
the fortifications were kept in good order, and was 
properly garrisoned by efficient soldiers and en- 
gineers; but at present it is veTy questionable 
whether it is supplied even with ammunition 
sufficient to defend it against an enemy's attack. 
However, after all, the Portuguese can only be said 
to enjoy the nominal possession of the town, for the 
Chinese mandarins govern it at pleasure, levying 
customs, &c, as suits their convenience. 

The census taken in 1822, will shew that the 
Portuguese inhabitants bore but a small proportion 
to the Chinese at that time, and I believe there is 
no considerable change in the population since : 
Portuguese, free men, and boys 1,077 
Slaves - 539 

Women of all classes and colours, 

under Portuguese authority 2,693 
Chinese of both sexes. - 45,000 

If Great Britain were to take possession of Macao, 
garrison it with native troops from Bengal, and 


declare it a free port, it would be one of the most 
flourishing places in the East. This might indeed 
be said of any island, or tract of land in this neigh- 
bourhood which our nation might select as a terri- 
tory, for the Chinese are so fond of smuggling, 
that they would not hesitate to trade with foreigners 
if they could be assured of receiving protection ; 
and there is no doubt that they would use all those 
arts of bribery with their own countrymen, which 
would be necessary to promote their own ends, and 
which are so irresistible to the equivocal integrity 
of the Chinese. By these means, therefore, there is 
not a doubt that a very extensive and productive 
trade might be established with China, and very 
important advantages secured to the British nation. 
When these facts are so self-evident, it is wonderful 
that some measures have not yet been taken to secure 
the commerce, and to protect the merchants from 
the insults and obstacles that are now so much 
complained of, as well as to lower the bullying and 
imperative tone which the Chinese at present think 
fit to adopt in all their mercantile transactions. 

Diseases of the eye are very common in China, 
particularly among the lower order. There is a 
small hospital at Macao especially devoted to the 
cure of these disorders, supported by voluntary 
contribution, and instituted by Mr. Colledge, the 
second surgeon of the British Factory, who holds a 
high place in the estimation of the Chinese, partly 
for his surgical skill, and partly by virtue of his 


charitable disposition, which prompts him to afford 
them the fullest benefit of his abilities gratis; a fact 
that is more sure to win the favour of this sordid 
people, than would the utmost stretch of human 
perfection, less liberally appropriated. In this 
instance, however, their confidence is not misplaced, 
for Mr. Colledge is esteemed by his own country- 
men no less than the Chinese, to possess a very 
superior degree of ability, especially as an oculist; 
and as the Chinese surgeons are utterly ignorant of 
this branch of art, and entirely decline to perform 
any operation upon the eye, his services in China, 
in that department of science, are quite invaluable. 
It seems indeed that a spirit of the most genuine 
philanthropy pervades the medical profession here, 
for Mr, Pearson, the senior surgeon of the Factory, 
is still more celebrated for the signal services which 
he has conferred upon the Chinese. He has 
resided twenty-five years in China without leaving 
it, and accompanied Lord Amherst's Embassy to 
Pekin. He wrote a pamphlet describing the dis- 
covery and progress of vaccination in England, 
and also the King of Spain's laudable efforts to 
communicate the blessing, by sending a ship round 
the world expressly for that purpose. This pam- 
phlet was translated into Chinese by Sir George 
Staunton, whose name, with that of Mr. Drummond, 
and the original author's, were prefixed thereto. 
Had this been the only service that Mr. Pearson 
ever rendered the Chinese he would be entitled to 


be considered as a national benefactor, but his 
gratuitous professional services to them, and indeed 
to persons of all nations, have been daily and 
unceasing, and I, among the rest, have personal 
obligations to acknowledge from him that enforces 
me to record his name with feelings of imperishable 


Symptoms of a Typhoon — Resistance of the Chinese to Local Im- 
provements—Curious Petition— All objects attainable in China by 
Bribery — Perambulatory Barbers — Bridal Alms-begging — Divine 
Service in the Chinese Language — Leave Macao for Canton — 
Chop-boats— Definition of the word " Chop" — Inner and Outer 
Passage— Heang- Shan — Arrival at Canton — Customary reception 
of the Gentlemen of the Factory, by the Resident British Merchants 
— Suburbs of the City — Line of Hongs— Amusements on the 
River — Joss-house— Chinese Mode of computing Tonnage— De- 
fect in our Maritime Laws — Bamboo Hats— A Lucky Day for the 
Dead— Siamese Junk — Flower-boats — Grotesque Costume for 
Wet Weather— Chinese Pleasure-grounds— Shops — Provisions 
at Canton — Method of Snaring Birds. 

Wednesday y Sept. 29, 1830. — The weather has 
been generally warm and fine throughout the pre- 
ceding week ; but this day we had a cold fresh 
northerly breeze, accompanied by small rain, and 
other indications of an approaching typhoon. The 
Chinese, and Portuguese, warned by the signs of the 
weather, got up all their boats high and dry on the 
beach, and made other preparations for the ex- 
pected visitation. At night, the wind increased, and 
came in such fierce gusts, that I entertained appre- 
hensions that the windows, frames and all, would 
have been blown into my apartment. It was quite 
a miracle how the chimneys and roof of the house 


escaped. On the following morning a ship came 
down from Canton, and anchored in the Typa. She 
was totally dismasted, and had dragged her anchors 
a considerable distance. Fears were entertained that 
she would be driven on shore ; but, fortunately, the 
wind moderated towards the afternoon, and she re- 
ceived no further injuries. On Friday we ascer- 
tained that this vessel was the Sherbourne, Captain 
White, belonging to Calcutta. Throughout the 
whole of Thursday night there were heavy squalls, 
with occasional rain : but on Friday evening the 
wind fell again, and the rain continued heavy, so 
that we believed the gale to be entirely broken up. 
The Praya Grande, or quay, facing the road, suf- 
fered much from the storm ; indeed, in one or two 
places, there was considerable difficulty in passing 
on foot. This irruption of the sea rolling over the 
quay, and the loss of the Sherbourne's masts, were 
the principal injuries sustained from the gale, which 
was but a moderate typhoon. Captain White, and 
Mr. Templeton, a resident merchant of Canton, 
came on shore this morning ; and Captain H. 
Fowler, with Mr. Copeland, 2nd officer of H. C. S. 
Lord Lowther, went off in the forenoon, provided 
with an anchor and cable, to assist the Sherbourne, 
but their services were declined, and they returned. 
The gentlemen of the Factory have imported a 
few horses for exercise and recreation, a custom 
which does not prevail amongst the Chinese. In- 
deed, the streets of their towns are so narrow, that 


it would be impossible to make use of carriages, so that 
the people are compelled to content themselves with 
sedans or palanquins. The foot-paths from the town 
of Macao, towards the barrier wall on the isthmus, 
being very narrow and bad, the Factory gentlemen 
petitioned the Heangshan Magistrate for permission 
to widen it. This request, which was very natural 
in any community desirous of improving its condi- 
tion, was at once resisted by the villagers of Macao, 
who, with that obstinancy which is characteristic of 
the Chinese, shrank at once from the first approach 
of innovation. These Mongha gentry are chiefly 
the connections of a late Hong merchant, and an 
old linguist, the whole of whom have derived what- 
ever prosperity they possess from foreign com- 
merce. The tone of insolence with which they pe- 
titioned the Kwanmanfoo against the projected 
improvement, affords a capital illustration of the 
pride, ignorance, and slavish superstition by which 
this selfish people are distinguished. The petition 
is a curious document, and I hope the reader will 
think it worth the place it fills. 

Translation of a Petition from the Gentry, Bailiffs, 
frc. of Mongha Village, to the Kwanmanfoo, 
. against the New Road. 

(A Prepared Petition.) 

" Chaonwanling, who has purchased the degree of 
Kumshung, with the senior people, Lengkwongchan, 


the Tepaon, or Bailiffs, moutseng, &c. [nine persons] 
of the village, Mongha, distant from the city a hun- 
dred and twenty le, hereby petition against a lawless 
and violent road repair, in which the living are in- 
sulted and the dead annihilated ; and the darkness 
and light, and wind and water fortunes injured. 
With head-ach cries, we implore the favour of 
Government to issue a severe and everlasting pro- 

" The ground on which barbarians live at Macao, 
is limited by fixed regulations. On the east side, 
the Kennel gate is their limit ; and on the west, 
Sampa [St. Paul's] gate, is the boundary. All the 
ground beyond -these limits, is the dwelling place 
of the Flowery [Chinese] people. There, a clod of 
earth marks the resting place of the deceased. For 
several hundred years, Government orders to this 
effect have been respectfully received, and acted on, 
without any deviation. 

" But in the 7th year of the late Emperor Keaking 
(A.D. 1802-3), some crafty barbarians, long plotted 
a villainous scheme, and employed labourers to 
make a road from Kennel gate to the hill called 
Bothedog- winding ; which was to be a road for 
rambling play, and running horses abreast. When 
Chinese subjects saw the injury done to their an- 
cestor's remains, and tombs, they flew up en masse, 
to reason and discussion; and forthwith stopped 
the thing desired. In twelve years, the old wisdom 
sprouted out again, and vain hopes arose of making 


a road. The then Tsotong, Jug, prohibited it. In 
the 17th year of the late reign, labourers were 
secretly bribed, who assumed the liberty of pushing 
down the great rock of the coming-Dragon, at the 
red tea-garden hill. The scheme was to make a 
horse road. The design was reported to Govern- 
ment, and the then Tsotong [conjuror] Cham, ex- 
amined the place, and decided that the proceeding 
was very greatly detrimental to the darkness and 
light, the wind and water fortune. He allowed by 
Proclamation, a stone tablet to prohibit it, even 
after digging and scraping away the earth. Should 
any violate the order, on being represented to Go- 
vernment they would be prosecuted. 

" In the 4th year of his present Majesty Taou- 
kwang, the then Kwanmanfoo, and Tsotong, were 
petitioned against road-making, outside Kennel 
gate, and they put a stop to it. These cases are all 
on record. Often have we had to thank the Ma- 
jesty of Government, for the purity and intelli- 
gence, and extraordinary kindness, which have to 
this day, excited the thanks of the dead and the 
living. But length of days generates baseness. 
The villainous barbarians' wicked intentions have 
again arisen; and suddenly, during the first de- 
cade, of the first moon, of the present year, they had 
the audacity to head several scores of barbarian 
slaves, each carrying a military weapon, when, at 
the narrow path for cowherds, and wood-cutters, 
near the red tea-garden hill, where was an impor- 


tant vein of the coming Dragon, they dug up and 
lowered away a piece of rock to widen the path for 
the horse road. Old grave booths, and tomb cumu&y 
that impeded the horse road, were at their pleasure 
scooped away, that they might have the sport and 
play, of going and coming on a broad horse road. 

" Now every man has had ancestors, and how can 
any man sleeve his hands, stand by, and look on the 
bones and flesh of his ancestors as he would on a way- 
faring man. The natives roused the Macao runners 
to petition all the local magistrates, and had to 
thank the late Tsotong, Cham, for ordering the 
runners to suppress the proceeding. A temporary 
sleep took place; but unexpectedly, some native 
vagabonds, coveting gain, and lost to goodness, 
espying that Cham, the Tsotong, had gone to Can- 
ton on public business, forthwith hooked on with 
the barbarians, and contracted to hire labourers to 
form a road, from Kennel gate straight out to 
Dragon fields, increasing its width along the side 
of the hill, for the convenience of a horse road, 
without the least regard to grave booths, and tomb 
cumuli. No fingers can enumerate the injuries 
sustained by the villagers. But how can eggs 
conflict with stones! Several scores of people 
have been obliged to remove the bones of their 
ancestors, to avoid the barbarians' horse road. 

" Humbly reflecting on the path of several hun- 
dred years, a level ground thoroughfare, which 
these villainous barbarians have long desired to 


form into a broad road, on which to exercise horses, 
play, and rove about ; we feel happy, that, depend- 
ing on the favour of Government, they have been 
interdicted, and prevented from doing so. 

" Now again there is a false declaration made, that 
a road is repairing for the benefit of foot passengers. 
This is the pretext, but to widen a horse road is the 
fact. But the Macao barbarians, when about to repair 
a house, or piece of ground, are obliged by [Chinese] 
law, to petition and request the golden permission, 
(of the local mandarins) and even then they are re- 
quired to make the new exactly like the old. They 
cannot add a single new beam, nor a single stone. 
How much more then is the forming a horse road 
a great violation of existing laws and prohibitions ; 
without having previously petitioned and requested 
leave, before the bar of all the mandarins, they 
have presumed to head scores of barbarian slaves ; 
have levelled Government hills, and charity graves, 
violently rolled down wind and water fortune sands, 
and rocks, with the unfeeling cruelty of wolves and 
tigers. How can the laws endure it ! 

" But there is reason to fear the barbarians' wolfish 
dispositions will not cease, and that they will again 
scoop and raze the coming Dragon's wind and 
water important vein, and then it will be impos- 
sible to preserve the tranquillity and happiness of 
the hundreds of families who compose that village. 

" We rely on a benevolent Magistrate's virtuous 
rule, who is possessed of integrity and intelligence; 


and who loves the people as his own infant children. 
We, therefore, have, in this document, pointed out 
successively the facts, and knocking head before 
the Bar, prostrate, beg for condescending commi- 
seration, and that our cause may be transmitted to 
all the great authorities ! Moreover, we beg that 
a prohibitory Proclamation may be issued to cut off 
all future creepers. Then the living and the dead 
will equally be grateful for the kindness received, 
for ten thousand generations to come : with intense 
earnestness, we lay this before the bar of our vener-* 
able Father, for his decision and concurrence. 

" Appended are two sketches, or plans, of the pro- 
jected horse road, to be opened by the barbarians. 

" Taoukwang, 8th year, 2nd Moan " 

To this petition, the Kwanmanfoo replied by a 
very authoritative edict, prohibiting the work, and 
stating that he had already ordered the barbarian 
eye to interdict it altogether. Perhaps an explana- 
tion of the meaning of this title may not be unin- 
teresting. The barbarian eye is a name applied by 
the Chinese to the procurator of Macao. He is 
the medium of intercourse between the Chinese 
government and the British residents, and is desig- 
nated by this insulting epithet, under an affectation 
of ignorance as to what name he ought to be called. 
Hence they give him this vague title of Headman, 
allowing him, however, only the functions of a part 
of the head, "an eye," to observe what is going 


forward, but denying him the possession of any 
brains, to enable him to act upon his vision. Such 
is one of the specimens of the numerous insults that 
these audacious people fling upon foreigners. 

Notwithstanding the decision of the Kwanmanfoo, 
the Heangshan magistrates sanctioned the making 
of the new road, which was accordingly proceeded 
with. The difficulty respecting the burial ground 
was easily overcome. The Chinese, impenetrable to 
every thing else, are never insensible to the influence 
of bribery. They are the most corrupt people on 
earth: an assertion I shall have abundant means of 
proving before I close my narration. The removal of 
the graves was granted by the families of the inter- 
red, on being paid a fixed sum each, I . think 
about nine dollars. I really believe that China 
could be purchased out and out, if a largesse suffi- 
ciently great could be procured. Since the opening 
of the new road, the English have established an- 
nual races at Macao. 

Saturday \ Oct. 2. — Some officers of the H.C. ships 
at Whampoa inspected the Sherbourne to-day, and 
found that the only damage she received was the 
loss of her masts, and the consequent destruction of 
her boats and bulwarks. In the course of the day, 
my attention was called to a peculiar noise in 
the street, produced by some person passing close 
to me ; it resembled the sound of a tuning-fork, 
and on enquiry, I found that it proceeded from the 
Chinese barbers, who perambulate the town with a 


pair of curling tongs, whose points they suddenly 
pull asunder, and these, by the rebounding vibra- 
tion, occasion the singular noise. 

Walking one evening with a friend, we heard 
some very melancholy cries, which proceeded from 
a party of females whom we perceived near a burial 
ground. My friend informed me that he had heard 
the same cries every time he had passed in that 
direction during the preceding month, and that he 
concluded, from the purpose to which the place was 
dedicated, that the lamentations were for the loss of 
some departed relative. The conjecture was rea- 
sonable enough, but it did not quite satisfy me; and 
as a traveller is generally more curious than those 
whose residences familiarize them with, and render 
them indifferent to local customs, I questioned 
some of the natives on the subject, when to our 
astonishment, we learned that the object of these 
sorrowful noises was not to exhibit grief for the 
dead, but to promote the happiness of the living. 
The case was this : — Two young persons who were 
strongly attached to each other, were anxious to 
form a matrimonial connection, but they had not 
the means of paying the expense of the wedding, 
which, even with the poorest classes amongst the 
Chinese, generally amounts to about twenty dollars. 
The alternative resorted to in such cases, is that 
which had excited my curiosity. The lovers hired 
persons to place themselves near the public road, to 
raise those melancholy cries, the purpose of which 
was to affect the compassion of their relations and 


chief of the Factory, to dine at the public table 
whenever I thought proper, during my residence 
at Canton. At eight o'clock, on Sunday evening, 
I accompanied Mr. Jackson on board: Messrs. 
Hudlestone and Ravenshaw followed soon after, and 
about ten o'clock, our little fleet set sail from the 
inner harbour, consisting of ten sail, together with a 
fast boat,* and a Comprador to attend to all the 
wants of those who were on board of the different 
vessels. About midnight we were obliged to anchor, 
in consequence of the contrary wind and tide. 

Monday, 4. — We got under weigh at daylight, 
with the tide in our favour, but the wind was still 
strong against us, and gave to our vessels that 
chopping motion which fully illustrates their name. 
This motion was very disagreeable, and we were 
all glad to keep in our cots until we reached the 
smooth water of the river, disturbed only by a gen- 
tle ripple on the surface. The arm of the sea from 
Macao to the entrance of the river, is called the 
Broad Way, and when it blows fresh, there is gene- 
rally a very unpleasant short sea, produced by the 
strength of the tide and the shallowness of the 
water. About ten o'clock, we arrived at the entrance 

* A fast boat is, as may be supposed from its denomination, a 
boat used for expedition, fitted up in the best manner with oars and 
sails, so that either or both may be employed to the best advantage. 
They are decked, and built on the same plan as the Comprador a 
boats, thai go to sea to look after vessels approaching the coasts : the 
only difference between them, is that the fast boats are of much 
smaller dimensions. 


r / 

" -.J 


of the inner passage leading to Canton, which is 
only capable of admitting boats or vessels of a 
small draught of water, and only allowed to be used 
by native craft. The outer passage, that by which 
all the foreign shipping proceed to Whampoa, and 
the Chinese Junks, &c. to Canton, is through the 
Bocca Tigris. We continued working up the river 
until three o'clock, when we anchored according 
*o custom, at Heang Shan, a town which is built 
on both sides of the river, where every boat is 
visited by a mandarin, who, after the usual 
enquiries, presents a paper for signature to the 
principal person on board, certifying that proper 
civility has been shown to them, and that they 
have not been unnecessarily detained. This, how- 
ever, cannot be always conscientiously admitted, 
as for example, in the case of some English mer- 
chants, Messrs. Chrystie, Broughton, and Gover, 
who, in 1830, were detained on their way to 
Macao, for two hours, and compelled to pay to the 
custom-house officers no less a sum than twenty- 
three dollars, and four hundred and fifty cash; 
which, however, was returned to them afterwards, 
upon the presentation of a petition to Chung the 
Hoppo. In our case, the only annoyance we ex- 
perienced was from the children, who were very 
vociferous, calling us Fan Qui (foreign devils), 
and other opprobrious epithets. 

When the necessary arrangements were dis- 
patched, we took our departure from Heang Shan. 


The wind was now more favourable, but the tide 
was against us. About six o'clock our vessel had 
a narrow escape from being staked in the middle 
of the river, on some sharp piles, which had been 
formerly placed there for the purpose of contracting 
the channel, to render the navigation more difficult 
to the pirates, and the defence of the river more 
easy. The evening was fine, and we passed it in 
reading and conversation, dining about nine o'clock. 

Tuesday, 5. — We had squally weather throughout 
the day, and while we were at breakfast, we wished 
the master to slacken sail, as the vessel was lying 
down so much from the force of the wind, that no- 
thing could keep its place in the cabin. But all oar 
entreaties were in vain, and at length Mr. Hudle- 
stone, snatching up a carving knife, ran upon deck, 
and pretended to cut away the haulyards ; but the 
Chinaman, perceiving his intention, instantly 
hastened to lower the sails. This slight fact is a 
complete illustration of the character of the people. 
They are uniformly overbearing and insulting to 
all those who happen to be in their power, but 
cringing and abject to those who exhibit a deter^ 
mination to resist them. 

Soon after noon, we came in sight of Canton, 
and the wind fell so light that we were obliged to 
have recourse to our sculls. It must appear strange 
to an European sailor, or boatman, that so large a 
vessel as I have described could avail herself of 
such a help; but, singular as it may seem, it is not 


the less true. There was a scull worked by five 
men on each quarter, which greatly aided our 
progress. But in China this is not remarkable, as 
the application of sculls is so general that they are 
used by every description of vessel in the empire, 
even in the largest junks, where they are worked 
from a platform extending on each side of the 
middle of the vessel. Sometimes there are as 
many as twenty men employed at each scull. 

About two p. m., being abreast of the British 
Factory, the Comprador's accommodation boat, 
which is roofed over on the after part, came off for 
us, and we disembarked at the Factory Stairs, 
leaving our Chinese servants to attend to our luggage. 

At last I had reached Canton. My heart beat 
with tumultuous delight at the thought of having 
at length planted my foot upon the Chinese terri- 
tory. It seemed to me like the realization of some 
long-indulged dream. I had reached, as it were, 
the destined goal, the ultima Thule of my wishes. 
The disappointment I had experienced while I was 
in Russia, in not being able to visit the Chinese 
boundary, enhanced the pleasure I now experienced 
in feeling myself in the veritable land itself. Every 
body hears so much of China, of its strict laws, its 
rigid forms, its motionless manners, and hereditary 
usages; and it is so prominent in the libraries of 
anecdote and wonder, that even the curiosity of the 
child is excited to learn something new of a nation 
so strangely constituted, and presenting so many 


points of interest. It was not extraordinary, there- 
fore, that a traveller, who had visited so many 
countries, should feel a rush of overwhelming 
pleasure steal over him on finding himself for the 
first time in a country, that differs wholly from all 
others in the world. 

The afternoon was cold and showery, and unfa- 
vourable to our movements. As six o'clock I 
accompanied my friend Mr. Jackson, to the house 
of Messrs. Jardine and Matheson, where the gen- 
tlemen of the Factory were invited to dine. This 
invitation is customary on the first day of their 
arrival, when the most respectable persons in Can- 
ton are asked to meet them, consisting of resident 
merchants, captains and other officers of the H. C. 
ships, captains of country ships, (trading between 
India and China) and the captains of a few other 
English ships on speculation voyages. On this 
occasion I had the pleasure of meeting a brother 
officer, Lieut. Parkyns, who hearing of my inten- 
tion to visit New South Wales, informed me that 
he was then making arrangements for proceeding 
thither, inviting me at the same time, in a very 
liberal spirit, to become his compagnon de voyage. 
He mentioned, as an additional inducement, the 
probability that he would touch at Java, and Swan 
River, for a passage to which place he was in treaty 
with Sir James Home, whose lady is a sister of the 
Lieut. Governor, Captain Stirling, R. N. 

Wednesday, 6. — I was accommodated with 


apartments at the house assigned to the surgeons 
of the Factory, one of whom always resided at 
Canton during the season for business, while the 
other remained at Macao : but during the time 
when the H. C. ships were absent, they both resided, 
with the rest of the gentlemen connected with the 
Factory, at Macao. 

I dined to-day, in company with the gentlemen 
of the Factory, at the house of Launcelot Dent, 
Esq. This invitation on the second day of their 
arrival is also customary. It embraces the double 
object of welcoming the annual return of this 
respectable body to Canton, and of affording them 
time for completing their own domestic arrange- 
ments. Our party was composed of nearly the 
same persons as on the preceding day. 

Thursday, 7. — After taking tiffen with Mr. 
Jardine, 1 accompanied Captain Neish, of the ship 
Fort William, in a walk through part of the suburbs 
of the City of Canton, which lie between the 
foreign Factories, and the city wall. The front 
part, or entrance to the Factories, is near and almost 
parallel to the bank of the river, and the interme- 
diate space forms a general thoroughfare for persons 
who require any communication with the Hongs, 
as well as those who have to embark and disembark 
at the different landing places in front of them. 
There is no regular thoroughfare from the suburbs 
to the river side through the private Hongs, for the 
•doors at the end, looking towards the suburbs, are 


locked day and night, and the front entrances are 
open only during the day, but there are two inter- 
vening streets and a lane inhabited by Chinese 
shopkeepers, namely, Old and New China Streets, 
and Hog Lane, which are the general thorough- 
fares during the day ; these, however, are also shut 
at night, according to the Chinese custom. 

The foreign Factories, or Hongs, which run per- 
pendicularly from the bank of the river, are like a 
succession of private streets, with a few merchants 
residing in each, whose stores are contiguous to 
their dwelling-houses. Each Hong has its respec- 
tive designation ; for instance, the first you arrive 
at on your right hand, on coming up the river, 
where Messrs. Jardine and Matheson reside, and 
where there is a landing-place directly in front of 
it, is called the Creek Hong, in consequence of 
being next to a creek that communicates from the 
river to the heart of the city. This creek is a great 
nuisance at high water to the neighbouring Hong, 
for at such times it is covered with boats passing to 
and from the city, loaded either with merchandise 
coming in, or offal, &c. going out. Other Hongs 
crowd the bank as you advance, and are generally 
distinguished by the names of their respective 
nations, whose flags they display. The English 
Factory is best known by the name of the British 
Hong, and is the most considerable of them all. 
From the advantage of its position it can at any 
time stop the general thoroughfare in front of the 


line of Hongs, but this power is never exercised, 
except when there is a dispute with the Chinese, in 
which case the gates are strictly guarded to pre- 
vent the admission of obnoxious or turbulent per- 
sons. There is no Russian Hong, nor will the 
Chinese permit any ships of that empire to visit 
Canton for the purposes of trade, assigning as a 
reason that Russia already carries on a trade with 
them on the frontiers of their own country, and 
that they cannot be allowed to trade in two 
parts of the Celestial Empire. The following 
list may perhaps afford a clearer view of these 
establishments, in the order in which they stand. 

1. Creek Hong, Magniac and Co. 

2. Dutch Hong. 

3. Dutch Factory. 

4. British Factory. 
Hog Lane. 

5. Chow-Chow Hong. 

6. Hired Factory. 

7. Messrs. Russell and Co. 

8. Imperial Hong, 

9. Dent and Company. 

10. American Hong. 
Old China Street. 

11. Hong Merchants. 

12. French Hong. 

13. Spanish Hong. 
New China Street. 

14. Danish Hong. 


The principal recreation of the members of the 
British Factory, and other gentlemen occasionally 
resident at Canton, consists in excursions on the 
water. They have a few excellent rowing boats, 
which they procure from England, principally Deal 
gigs, and London wherries. A crew is generally 
made up at the Factory breakfast-table, for one or 
more boats to take a row before dinner. Some- 
times they have pulling matches, and in passing 
a Chinese boat they try their speed with various 
success. Occasionally the gentlemen land on 
the opposite side of the river for the pleasure 
of a walk ; but in such cases they run the risk 
of being insulted, and even assaulted by the 
natives, who follow them with coarse invectives, 
and often carry their hostility so far as to throw 
stones after them. Whenever they leave their 
boats they seldom escape injury, and even on the 
river, in passing, the rude and audacious natives 
will sometimes fling stones and missiles at the 
foreigners. — The contempt in which the Chinese 
hold all other nations is the first lesson instilled into 
the minds of children, who not long after they have 
acquired the powers of articulation, are taught to 
cry out Fan-qui, (foreign devils), the usual compli- 
mentary epithet applied to all strangers. 

Saturday, 9.— I went this morning, with Mr. 
Clark, to the tea warehouse cf Gow-qua, one of the 
Hong merchants, for the purpose of witnessing the 
method adopted for weighing tea, purchased by the 


Factory for the H. E. I. Company. I will explain 
the particulars of this process in another place. 
I was extremely surprised to-day at dinner at Mr. 
Fearon'8, the Hanoverian Consul, and brother of a 
fellow-passenger of mine on board the Dutch Galliot, 
when I left the Eden for Bio Janeiro, to meet a 
gentleman who was lately arrived from England, 
and who was well acquainted with my connexions. 
The unexpected meeting with this gentleman, Mr. 
Haylet, who had recently seen my friends, was ex- 
tremely gratifying. 

Sunday j 10.— At divine service to-day, which was 
performed in the chapel attached to the Factory, 
there was a large congregation of our countrymen 
then assembled at Canton : with, however, but one 
lady, Mrs. Baynes. Yet this was a very agreeable 
sight to all the English present, as it was only 
the second season that foreign ladies had begun to 
make their appearance at Canton ; and it was hoped 
that the barbarous restriction by which they had 
been hitherto excluded, would be ultimately 
abolished altogether. 

In the afternoon I went with Mr. Reeves, jun. 
and some other friends, across the river to witness 
the process of tea-drying. On passing through the 
-village adjacent to the drying-house, we stopped to 
visit a Joss-house, or Chinese place of worship, 
the word Joss being, I am informed, a corruption 
of the Portuguse word Deos. It was a common- 
place building, having no flooring but that of the 


bare earth ; but it contained all the figures and 
articles that are in general use in the religious 
ceremonies of the Chinese, A large bell was sus- 
pended in one part over a great drum, which stood 
in a frame : the drum had only one head, and 
there was a peculiarity in the drumsticks that I 
had never before observed : they were similar in 
form to the instrument used for turning the dis- 
charger of a warm bath, or fountain. On each side 
of the house there were three large standing figures 
of their Deities, dressed in a singularly fantastic 
costume ; and, in the centre, there was a small one 
in a sitting posture, before which, near the wall of 
the temple, where there was an altar-piece, joss- 
sticks were kept continually burning. The place 
was in a very dirty state ; and as we were followed 
by a great number of noisy boys, we were not 
sorry to take our leave of it. As we passed through 
the village, several small-footed women and chil- 
dren, on seeing us, fled into their houses, partly, I 
believe, from fear, and partly from shame. 

The Chinese authorities were engaged measuring 
ships at Whampoa to-day. It is by measurement they 
compute the tonnage of each ship, and the amount 
of duty it is to pay for permission to trade. Their 
method is as follows : — in aJl three-masted vessels, 
they measure from the centre of the foremast to 
the centre of the mizenmast ; and in two-masted 
vessels, from the centre of the foremast to the fore- 
most part of the tiller ; the width of all vessels 


being taken just abaft the mainmast, from the inside 
of each gunwale, or waterway. 

Some disturbance occurred to-day between the 
measurers and the crew of an American brig, at 
Whampoa, in consequence of an attempt of the 
Captain to take advantage of this mode of mea- 
surement. He attempted to deceive diem by 
erecting a temporary third mast, which he con- 
trived by placing a topmast, as a substitute for a 
mizen-mast, down a hatchway in the after part of 
the vessel, some feet before the extremity o£ the 
tiller. This would have had the effect of decreasing 
the measurement in length, and would have made 
a considerable reduction in the Chinese mode of 
computing the tonnage. Masters of American 
vessels have often tried them with extraordinary 
long tillers for the same purpose ; but the Chinese 
are not so easily duped, for in one instance they 
took out the tiller, and measured from the rudder. 
Thus the biter was bit. 

Monday, 11. — I met Captain Roe of the 
country ship, Caroline, at breakfast at Mr. Jar* 
dine's this morning. His vessel had been freighted 
with cotton from Calcutta to Canton by some 
officers of the H. C. ships, but was dismasted 
in the China sea, during the typhoon that occurred 
while I was at Macao ; and having been met with 
in this disabled state fay the H. €. S. Castle 
Jftuntly, she was towed into port, and brought up 
to Whampoa by that ship. The mature of the 


salvage for this service produced, I was informed, 
a great deal of discussion amongst the parties con- 
cerned. Is it not extraordinary that the maritime 
laws of England, one of the first commercial na- 
tions in the world, are so ill-defined and so little 
understood? more especially that portion of 
them which refers to the relative position of the 
officers and the crew? There is scarcely a vessel 
that sails from Great Britain to any of our colonies, 
on board of which some disturbance does not arise 
between the officers and the crew ; and not unfre- 
quently a serious mutiny takes place, to resist the 
authority of the captain and the officers. I do not 
mean to say that the fault is always on the side of 
the sailors, for I regret to be compelled to admit 
that it sometimes originates in the oppressive con- 
duct of the officers, the supply of bad provisions, 
and other acts of injustice, which those who are in 
power on board ship have so many means of carry- 
ing into effect. Sometimes, on the other hand, a 
troublesome fellow, who aims at being considered 
a sort of sea-lawyer, will disorganize the whole 
crew. He will do every thing in his power to pro- 
voke the captain, or some of the officers, to strike 
him, confine him, and perhaps put him in irons, 
the object of which is to get what he calls the law of 
them. One such unruly member will soon spread 
disaffection amongst the others, and hence frequently- 
considerable disorder is generated. This subject, 
however, requires to be treated more at large than 


would be consistent with the plan and purpose of 
my humble labours, for the evil is becoming so 
serious that it is likely to affect in a most alarming 
degree the commercial interests of the country. I 
do not know any topic of legislative importance, 
that demands more prompt and decisive inter- 
ference on the part of Government. 

I accompanied Captain Neish to-day to call on 
Mr. Dunn, a respectable American merchant, who, 
after realizing a handsome fortune in China, was 
just on the point of retiring from business, to enjoy 
the true otium cum dignitate at home. This gentle- 
man has made a vast collection of Chinese models 
and other productions of native skill and industry, 
which are well calculated to reward the researches 
of the curious. We also visited a number of 
Chinese shops, and purchased, amongst other 
things, a hat, made from bamboo, which has been 
well macerated, and beat into a pulp ; when it is 
mixed with a quantity of glue, before it is put into 
form and dried. You try it in the first instance 
in frame on your head, until you find one 
that will fit you, which is then covered with a 
material similar to that used for gentlemen's silk 
hats in England, and lined in the usual manner. 
The Chinaman, by way of a stroke of wit, puts 
" London" under his name in the inside of the 
hat. The first I bought cost a dollar and a quarter; 
but for the second I was charged only a dollar ; 
and I learned that they were sold wholesale at the 


rate of three-quarters of a dollar each. These hats 
are very light and durable, and keep their shape 
well, so long as you preserve them from wet. They 
are, therefore, admirably adapted for dry seasons in 
a warm climate, and are certainly preferable to 
straw hats, being nearly as light, equally cheap, 
and less pervious to the rays of the sun. Boots and 
shoes are very cheap in China, but they are of a 
kind fit only for warm and dry countries. The 
leather is very thin and soft to the feet, but, like 
the hats, are unfit for wet weather. The prices of 
shoes vary from half a dollar to one dollar and a 
quarter per pair. One of the curiosities which I 
examined in my perambulations amongst the shops, 
was a large punch bowl of China-ware; it was 
twenty-three inches in diameter, and I could not 
encircle it with my arms. 

In the afternoon I crossed the river to the Island 
of Honan, for the purpose of visiting the house and 
gardens of one of the Hong Merchants, named How- 
qua. Here we found a separate room appropri- 
ated to the coffins of the father and mother of the 
present proprietor, which are thus kept apart and 
above ground until a lucky day arrives for their 
final deposit, the Chinese being very superstitious 
in matters of this kind. The place selected for 
the grave is generally in a beautiful situation, 
on the brow of a hill, commanding a picturesque 
view of the surrounding country. This observa- 
tion will be understood, of course, ap affdying only 
to those classes who can afford to indulge in extra- 


vagance, the lower orders not being so particular, 
compelled as they are by necessity to submit to 
circumstances. I have already mentioned an in- 
stance which occurred at Macao, where a portion 
of the burial ground of the commonalty was pur- 
chased to enlarge the foot-path. Poverty is saleable 
in all countries, but in China it perhaps is more 
especially open to purchase than in any other. 

Wednesday, 13. — I left Canton at eight o'clock 
this morning with Messrs. Jackson and Astell in a 
chop-boat for Whampoa, twelve miles distant, 
those gentlemen being ordered to proceed thither, 
in their official capacity, to superintend a survey of 
four of the H. C. ships, (the Fairlie, the Duchess 
of Athol, the Thomas Coutts, and the Dunira,) pre- 
viously to their taking in their homeward bound car- 
goes. The surveying officers consisted of three cap- 
tains, three chief-mates, three carpenters, and three 
caulkers, of the H. C. ships, the report being made 
out by the above named gentlemen of the Factory, 
to be delivered by them to the Committee. After 
visiting the Fairlie, and other ships, a large party 
assembled at dinner, at seven o'clock, in the chop- 
boat, when she got under weigh to return to Canton. 
The day had been very warm, the thermometer 
at one time being at 87° in the cabin of the boat; 
but a cool northerly breeze sprung up in the even- 
ing, and the tide being in our favour, we reached 
Canton in about a couple of hours. There is a 
Custom-house about three miles distant from the 
4 g 


anchorage at Whampoa, and nine from Canton, 
where all native boats are obliged to stop in order 
to be examined by a Mandarin, who comes off to 
ascertain whether there are any smuggled articles 
on board. The H. C/s Tender, however, and all 
ships' boats, are suffered to pass without being sub- 
ject to examination. 

Thursday, 14. — The process of tea-packing, 
which I will hereafter describe, I witnessed this 
morning at the warehouse of Grow-qua: and after- 
wards went on board two country boats that had 
brought tea to Canton, one of which was then load- 
ing with a return cargo of salt. These boats are 
decked, and of an extraordinary size, but they are 
well adapted for the navigation of the river, being 
very long and flat-floored, and having, conse- 
quently, but a small draught of water. One of 
those I visited carried 6000 Peculs, nearly equal 
to 600 tons. We next went on board a large junk 
from Siam, which was said to have been built en- 
tirely of a species of remarkably hard wood* This 
vessel was as old fashioned as Noah's ark, and 
from her various compartments she might have 
answered for a similar purpose. She was one of 
the largest class ; her mainmast, which was a 
single tree, merely stripped of the bark, as the other 
masts were also, measured eleven feet in circum- 
ference, and the mizen-mast was outside on the 
larboard quarter of the vessel. These masts had 
no rigging whatever. Her anchors, which were 


made of wood, the flukes only being tipped with 
iron, were of an extraordinary size, being thirty- 
three feet in the shank. Her cables were com* 
posed of whole rattans twisted in the same manner 
as those of hemp yarn. The main piece of the 
rudder, made of hard wood, was two feet square : 
the rudder ropes were made of split rattan ; and 
every thing in and about the vessel was on the 
same rude scale, and similarly heavy and clumsy. 
Her hold, agreeably to the Chinese fashion, was 
partitioned across from side to side, at equal dis- 
tances, the whole length of the vessel. The after 
part of the upper deck was covered with bamboo 
cabins, erected for the different owners of the 
various parts of the cargo. There was a large Joss- 
house in the after part, containing three fignres, 
one the goddess of the sea, and the other two 
her satellites. This vessel was the bearer of the 
annual tribute from Siam to the Emperor of China. 
On our return to the shore we passed between a 
double line of large boats, that are constantly 
moored in the centre of the river, with the head and 
stern of each boat so close in line that you might 
pass along the whole, from one to another, without 
having occasion to go into a boat. These barges 
are called " Flower boats," a name they derive 
from the elegant and ornamental style in which 
they are fitted up, and carved and gilded. These 
boats, however, are nothing better than licensed 
brothels of the first order, for the exclusive use of 


the Chinese, foreigners not being permitted to tres- 
pass upon them with impunity. The ladies on board, 
however, do not appear to have any objection to 
the visits of strangers, if their sentiments may be 
speculated upon, from their outward signs, for no 
respectable foreigner can pass these boats without 
receiving signals of invitation. I have heard of 
one or two foreigners who were bold enough to 
venture on board, but who paid dearly for the ex- 
periment, although to what extent I cannot really 
say. Besides the indignities they experienced, 
they were compelled to pay a large sum for their 

I think it may be generally remarked, that all 
the Chinese boats are admirably adapted for the 
various services to which they are destined, and 
that the boatmen, as well as the boatwomen, are 
very expert in the management of them. All the 
boatmen on the rivers are provided with a mat- 
ting jacket, made with coarse grass, which they 
wear in wet weather. In conseqence of the way 
in which these jackets are fabricated, the ragged 
ends of the grass not being trimmed in the pro- 
gress of the making, they present a very rough 
and grotesque appearance, making their wearers 
look like some strange amphibious animals moving 
about their boats. But this apparent want of 
finish is intentional, for the broken points of grass 
have the effect of turning off the rain, instead of 
permitting it to pour perpendicularly down the body. 


There is a celebrated garden on the Canton side 
of the river, near the city walls, and about three- 
quarters of a mile from the foreign Factories, for- 
merly the property of Con-se-qua, but now in the 
possession of How-qua, both Hong merchants. It 
is said to have cost the late proprietor 100,000 dol- 
lars ; and yet, the present owner was, when we 
visited it, laying out considerable sums on further 
embellishments, and fanciful alterations. The 
grounds contain a great number of large buildings, 
fitted up and highly ornamented in the Chinese 
taste, with running streams of water, bridges, 
grottoes, large pieces of rock scattered in premedi- 
tated confusion over the surface, and, in fact, a fan- 
tastic variety of things to attract and amuse the 
spectator. The narrow suburban streets that lead 
to this garden, are occupied by Chinese shopkeepers 
of a variety of callings, some of which are peculiar 
to the country, venders of birds' nests for making 
soups, bechos de mar, harts and rhinoceros' horns 
hung up in the apothecaries shops to be reduced 
afterwards into shavings, powders, and pills, which 
are highly esteemed for their stimulating properties; 
live fish and tortoises ; fish, poultry, and pork, sold 
in the same shop ; there are also eating-houses, 
where they exhibit in the windows roasting pigs, 
poultry, &c, lackered ; and besides a variety of 
other trades, there are a number of shops established 
exclusively for the sale of European manufacture. 
• The passengers in these crowded streets suffer 


much annoyance from the nuisance of porters, car- 
rying large packages on their heads, and beggars, 
who enter all the shops and make a terrible noise, 
by discordant singing, accompanied by the clack- 
ing sounds produced from striking two pieces of 
bamboo together, by way of keeping time. The 
beggars are privileged, by custom, to enter the 
shops, and make this uproar until the owner dis- 
charges them by giving them alms. Some of these 
wretched mendicants are objects disgusting to the 
sight from disease and deformity. 

The temperature of the weather has a considerable 
effect on the supply of provisions. Butcher's meat, 
during the hot season, is scarce, with the exception 
of pork, and that is always abundant and of an ex- 
cellent quality. It is chiefly fed on vegetables. In 
the winter season, however, when the shipping are 
at Whampoa, beef and mutton is plentiful and good. 
The Chinese, or rather the Tartar sheep, have a fat 
exuberance at the tail, like those of the Cape. They 
are very large and of good flavour, and cost from 
twenty to thirty dollars each. 

Canton is well supplied with excellent river fish, 
which are brought to the market alive, and even 
cut up in that state, being sold by weight. I was 
agreeably surprised one day, at Mr. Jardine's table, 
to meet my old Russian acquaintance among the 
fish, that celebrated species of sturgeon, called 
the sterlet, which is found in the rivers of thq 
eastern parts of Russia and Siberia. Fresh water 


soles are very common at Canton, but they are not 
equal in size or quality to those taken in the sea. 

Poultry are plenty, particularly capons ; as also 
are the following descriptions of wild fowl, during 
the winter season, namely — geese, ducks, teal, snipes, 
&c. There are great numbers of rice birds (Loxia 
oryzivora),* which, being caught just after the rice 
harvest, when they are in good condition, are very 
well flavoured. Flocks of these birds are usually 
taken by means of nets ; for the Chinese are too 
economical to spend a charge of powder and shot 
Upon such small birds, when they can devise a 
cheaper method, by snaring them. In such con- 
trivances they are very ingenious, of which the fol- 
lowing mode of catching wild geese is an illustra- 
tion. Two persons will follow the course of a stream, 
one on each side, carrying bamboos with a strong 
white silk thread attached to the ends of the rods : 
and when a flight of wild geese happens to pass, they 
are generally able to snare one or more, by entangling 
their wings in the thread. The birds thus en- 
trapped, rapidly descend, and their fall is facili- 
tated by bringing the rods from a perpendicular 
to an horizontal position, when they are easily cap- 
tured by men attending in a boat for that pur- 

* There are more than one species of birds sent up to table in China, 
under the name of rice birds ; but the more general is a species of 
Alanda, or lark. 


They have various plans for catching ducks and 
other wild fowl with nets, &c. besides the well- 
known practice of men walking up to their necks 
in water, with a basket over their head, and seiz- 
ing them by the legs as they swim past. 


Engagement on the River between Mandarin Boats and Smuggle 
Illegal cultivation of the Poppy— Opinm Smoking— Visit to a 
Hong Merchant — Costume of Children — Presentation of a 
Petition at the City Gate — Antiquity of the Custom — Chinese 
Trades — Firmness of the Committee at the British Factory — 
Preparations for Resistance— Chinese Bombast — The Menace 
evaporates in Smoke— Excursion to Whampoa— French Island — 
The Hoppo's Visit of Measurement —Venality of the Custom 
House Officers— General Cupidity of the Chinese— Duck Boats 
—A Specimen of the Insolence of the Chinese Government — 
Return to Canton— Fire in the City — Country Ships — Fah-tee 
Gardens — English Jargon — Proffer of Pacification — Chow-chow- 
chop — Sea-stock — Hong Merchants and Hoppo — Chinese 
Monastery and Temple — Boat-racing — Company's Ships passing 
the Bogue — Chinese Dinner— Boatwomen — Canton Market— 
Specie — Airy Barbers and Quack Doctors— Chinese Test of 
Innocence — Remarkable Instance of Politeness in a Mandarin — 
Leave Canton — Sail from Whampoa in the Ern&ad for Lintin — 
Opium Ships and Opium Smuggling — Leave Lintin for Macao 
— Lord Napier's arrival in Canton — Battle of the Bogue — Lord 
Napier s return to Macao— Emperor's Edict. 

Friday \ October 15, 1830. — The weather is now 
becoming cooler. Thermometer 69° at 8 a. m. 
Some friends of mine who were returning from 
Whampoa to-day, saw a very amusing fight on the 
river between two mandarin's boats and a smuggler. 
One of the mandarin's boats fired a gun at the 


smuggler in the first instance, which was imme- 
diately returned, although he was making off; and 
as he pulled 50 oars, assisted by his sails, he soon 
distanced his pursuers. Meeting, however, three 
boats of his own calling he joined them, and they 
all drew up in line to give regular battle to the 
mandarins. The plan of the smugglers was a little 
curious. It being flood tide, they formed their line 
across the river above the mandarin's boats, they 
then brought their carriage guns to their sterns, 
wetted their boarding nettings, to prevent them 
from catching fire, which were all ready to trace up, 
and, presenting their sterns, they pulled in that posi- 
tion towards the mandarin's boats, which, however, 
were glad enough to make a precipitate retreat. 
Thus, in open day, only a few miles belpw Canton, 
four smugglers resisted with impunity the govern- 
ment of the country. 

Smuggling boats are of an amazing length, and 
generally pull from 40 to 50 oars. Their weapons 
of defence are usually cme small carriage gun, or 
swivel, with muskets, boarding pikes, swords, and 
stones. Their boarding netting is similar to an 
ordinary fishing net, being intended merely to guard 
them against the stones. They have also shields 
for the same purpose. The activity of the smugglers 
was such that in 1830 the Whampoa magistrate 
issued a proclamation against banditti, who, he said, 
infested various rivers of the province to plunder 
the trading boats. It was a practice among them 


to profess to be government boats come to search 
the craft in the river. In one instance, a mandarin 
boat, carrying specie to court, was boarded a little 
above Canton, by a gang of these fellows who 
pretended to be the Hoppo's Custom House runners* 
A struggle ensued, and they were ultimately beaten 
off without being able to secure any of the treasure. 
A very fair sample of opium from the western 
part of China was brought for examination to-day to 
the house of Messrs. Jardine and Matheson. The 
growth of the poppy in China is interdicted by the 
law, yet, notwithstanding the fact that the local au- 
thorities were ordered to punish such natives severely 
who should be proved to have encouraged the pro- 
duction of opium, which is called the "flowing 
poison," it was successfully cultivated in the west, 
and formed a very profitable article of trade. In 
August, 1830, the superintendent of the roads of the 
province of Keang-nan, presented a statement to the 
Emperor in which he set forth thatnumerous " traitor- 
ous natives had lately engaged in planting the poppy 
and producing opium for sale, that they gained 
ten times as much from an acre of poppy as from an 
acre of paddy; and that it was imperative upon 
his majesty for the sake of the public morals, and 
the authority of the law, to interfere with severity 
for the purpose of preventing such a dangerous 
practice for the future/' To this statement an 
Edict was issued in reply, ordering the local au- 
thorities to exercise all their power to prevent the 

92 how-qua's house and garden. 

growth of poppy, and declaring that should any 
negligence be discovered on their parts in carrying 
the imperial will into effect, the Emperor would 
hold them responsible* " Tremble/* says the 
Emperor, and " Respect this." 

The Chinese vessels are all distinguishable by an 
eye, which is invariably painted on the bow. If 
you venture to inquire into the reason of this curious 
custom, you are answered with a piece of logic that 
sets the question at rest: — " Suppose he have no 
got eye, how can him see ? Suppose he no can see, 
how can him walkie?" This argument is incon- 
trovertible. The love of fantastic forms pervades 
all things in China. They have a great variety of 
kites, generally outlined in the shape of birds and 
fishes, with wings or fins, and glass eyes. 

Saturday, 16. — In the afternoon I went with 
Messrs. Lindsay and Kerr to visit How-qua's house 
and gardens on the bank of a creek running up at 
the opposite side of the river. All the furniture of 
the house was, of course, in the Chinese style, and 
the garden in corresponding taste. It exhibited 
the usual diversity of a summer-house, fish-pond, 
fanciful paved walks, stone table and seats, de- 
tached fragments of stones scattered about in imi- 
tation of rocks, and large single blocks placed at 
convenient distances, with smooth but irregular 
surfaces. These last are useful, as well as orna- 
mental, the Chinese being very fond of using them 
as seats, and have them not only in the open air, 



'Jj * & 


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•• *., 

■■i V* 

'"< ••-*«:'' 'i 

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but in their shops and houses for that purpose. 
From the garden we went into the school, where we 
found a private master, employed in teaching the 
children of the various branches of the family. 

We spent the evening at Mr. Jardine's, where 
his Comprador had prepared opium pipes for some 
of the party who were anxious to try an experiment 
of the effect it would be likely to produce upon 
them. I was prompted by a similar curiosity, and 
when our pipes were charged we placed ourselves, 
according to the Chinese fashion, in a recumbent 
posture upon a couch propped up with pillows : the 
Comprador then ignited the drug with a red-hot 
wire, which admits of three or four inhalations each 
time it is charged. I found two pipes quite suffi- 
cient to make my head ache ; but this was the only 
effect it produced on me, for it did not give the least 
agreeable sensation, either at the time I was smok- 
ing, or subsequently, and I was glad to seek relief 
in a cup of tea. I presume, however, that tobacco 
would have produced a similar effect. We must, 
of course, become accustomed to the use of both 
these powerful narcotics, before we can derive any 
gratification from them. 

Monday \ 18. — I paid a visit to-day by previous 
invitation, in company with the Rev. Mr. Vachell, 
to the dwelling-house of Tin-qua, one of the Hong 
merchants. Tin-qua received us with the greatest 
urbanity and politeness, and, after we had examined 
the furniture and embellishments of two or three of 

94 tin-qua's grand-children 

the rooms, invited us to take refreshments, consist- 
ing of sweetmeats, tea, and cakes. The sweetmeats, 
he told us, had been superintended in the process 
of preserving by his favourite wife. The Chinese 
of rank or fortune consider it necessary to have a 
small-footed woman for their principal wife, from 
whom they at least wish to have an heir to their 
title and property. They have also one or more 
large footed, or Tartar women, as their inclinations 
or means can afford, by whom they generally have 
a numerous progeny. When our refreshments were 
over, Tin-qua ordered the pipe of one of his Tartar 
wives, prepared for smoking, to be brought to us. 
This pipe was very elegant : the main tube, which 
was of horn, was not thicker than a goose quill, and 
was about a yard in length ; the mouth-piece was 
made of amber, and the bowl of ebony : both were 
neatly carved. From the centre of the tube a small 
and handsome tobacco bag was suspended by a 
gold chain. My reverend friend, who was a 
cigar smoker, tried the lady's pipe, and pronounced 
the weed to be of a superior flavour. That which 
chiefly gratified us was the introduction of several 
of Tin-qua's grand-children, who were all girls 
between the age of six and thirteen. The timidity 
with which they approached us at first, until by 
degrees they acquired a slight air of confidence, 
attracted our attention at once. One of them was 
remarkably pretty, and might be considered so in 
any country. They had all fair complexions, with 


long black hair and black eyes. The fore-part of 
the head was shaved a short distance from the fore- 
head, and the side hair hung down in long ringlets, 
while that behind was plaited into a long tail, and 
fell over the back like that of the men. This is 
the usual way in which females dress their hair 
until they are married, when it is all collected 
on the top of their head, and confined by gold or 
silver pins. In former times the fashions were still 
more preposterous. We learn that in the time of 
the latter Han dynasty, about a.d. 200, the head- 
dresses of the Chinese ladies mounted a cubit in 
height, and that they painted broad eye-brows 
half way across their foreheads, and wore enormous 
sleeves that required a whole piece of silk to make 
them. The grand-children of the merchant wore a 
loose dress down to their knees, of silk or crape, 
with large sleeves and loose trowsers. On taking 
our leave we passed through a room where some 
children were employed in making gold thread and 
braiding, which is profusely used in ornamenting 
their dresses. 

Tuesday, 19. — It had been resolved for some time 
by the gentlemen of the British Factory, as well 
as the private British merchants residing at Canton, 
to petition the authorities of the city, against the 
insulting edicts which had been issued at different 
periods, affecting the comfort and independence 
of our countrymen. These edicts were directed 
against foreign ladies coming to Canton, the use 


of sedan chairs by gentlemen, and an annual pro- 
hibition by which foreigners were not allowed to 
employ Chinese. servants. Two distinct petitions 
on these subjects were prepared, and addressed to 
the four principal authorities ; namely, the Governor, 
or Viceroy ; the Hoppo, or Collector; the Foo-Yuen, 
or Judge; and the Tartar General, or Commandant 
of the troops. To-day was appointed for the pre- 
sentation of these documents, and arrangements 
were made in the afternoon, for delivering them, 
in due form, at the principal gate of the city. All 
the captains and a number of other officers be- 
longing to the H. C. ships assembled in the British 
Factory, with the supercargoes ; while the private 
merchants, captains, and other officers of the 
country ships, met at the house of Messrs. Jardine 
and Matheson. At two o'clock both parties sallied 
forth from the doors of their respective Hongs, 
and proceeded direct to the city gate. The private 
merchants, who were a little in advance of the 
others, passed on with great speed, between running 
and walking, which brought them to the gate in 
about ten minutes, where they met with some re- 
sistance by the soldiers who guarded it, and who 
were armed with pikes, and rattan whips. But this 
opposition was soon subdued by the determined 
conduct of the assailants, although one fellow had 
the audacity to strike a gentleman several times 
with his whip, an instance of daring which is very 
unusual amongst the Chinese. When the British 


party had secured their ground within side the 
gate, they were resolved at all hazards to maintain 
it, and they did so. It had been originally arranged 
that I should accompany the first party ; but one 
of the gentlemen of the Committee made a parti- 
cular request that I would not, in which entreaty 
he induced two or three of my friends to join, and 
I yielded, but with great reluctance, to their soli- 
citations. However, my kind friend, Mr. Matheson, 
who entered deeply into my feelings, perceiving 
that I sensibly felt the disappointment, and 
prompted by the most lively sympathy, came for- 
ward immediately after their departure, and offered 
to accompany me if I still desired to follow them. 
I need not say that I gratefully accepted his pro- 
posal. We came up just as the first party had 
succeeded in getting within the gate, and were 
engaged in disputing their position ; and before the 
second party from the British Factory had arrived. 
Thus, by the kind assistance and judicious ma- 
nagement of my friend, Mr. Matheson, I witnessed, 
without the least inconvenience, the ceremony of 
foreigners presenting a petition to the proper 
Chinese authority, a Mandarin, to whom I had 
a special introduction, at the great gate of the city 
of Canton. Mr. Matheson was possessed of a feel- 
ing and intelligent mind ; and, having an uncle suf- 
fering under the same affliction as myself, he was 
the more likely to possess a sincere sympathy for my 
4 h 


situation, and to supply the means of alleviating 
its occasional mortifications. 

The custom of making the gate of a city the 
place of judgment and council, is very ancient. 
The first instance in history to which we are re- 
ferred, is that of Abraham, who confirmed his 
purchase of a field in the presence of all who went 
in at the gate of the city. From that period it has 
been the custom, particularly in eastern countries, 
to transact any business of special importance at 
the city gate. When the government of the Dey 
of Algiers was in existence, his Highness enter- 
tained all affairs of moment at the city gate. The 
origin of this custom arose, no doubt, from the 
notion that publicity is a protection to justice. 
The Ottoman Parte is supposed to be so called in 
consequence of business being transacted at the 
gate ; and the Emperor of China frequently de- 
scends to the entrance of the court of his palace, to 
hear causes with his great officers of state. There 
are several allusions to this practice, scattered 
throughout the Old Testament. The gate t of the 
city of Canton has invariably, and throughout the 
whole period of history to which we possess an 
authentic guide, been the place where foreigners 
have made their appeal for justice to the Chinese 
authorities. Should the publicity be relinquished, 
it is feared, and not without reason, that justice 
will be relinquished also* 


The petition presented by the British merchants 
on the occasion to which I allude, will abundantly 
shew the contemptuous insolence with which the 
Chinese treat our countrymen ; and from this in- 
stance of their boldness, we may infer how far they 
would go if they dared. They consider us a class 
of persons inferior to them in knowledge, and 
depraved by habits of an immoral character. 
Assuming to themselves the airs of a superior and 
refined nation correcting the vices and superstitions 
of an uneducated and depraved race, they take the 
liberty not only of reproaching us for the crimes 
which they think fit to charge upon us, but of 
attempting to prohibit those European amusements 
which they choose to denounce as criminal. The 
petition of the British. merchants states the griev- 
ances under which they laboured, in this form : — 

" We have lately seen a proclamation pasted 
against the English Company's Factory, for the 
perusal of all natives, containing groundless expres- 
sions of insult to foreign merchants, and falsely 
affirming that they are guilty of crimes, which, in 
our country, are held by all in the utmost detesta- 
tion, and never even mentioned without horror and 

• " It further commands the Hong merchants and 
linguists to instruct and direct foreigners, and to 
repress their pride, profligacy, &c. &c. In what, 
permit us to ask your Excellency, does it appear 
that we have merited such disgraceful epithets, as 




if we were an inferior and depraved class of persons, 
ignorant of the principles of right reason ? It is 
really impossible for us to submit in silence, to im- 
putations so detestably false, and affirmations so in- 
sulting to foreigners." 

It then alludes to an edict prohibiting the use of 
sedan chairs, on the grounds that they signified an 
invidious distinction of rank, and claims the right 
of employing them, observing, that in our Indian 
territories, on the north-east frontier border of 
China, they are as necessary as food or clothes. It 
concludes in these terms : — 

" A third proclamation, which we have seen, 
forbids foreign merchants from bringing their fami- 
lies to reside with them at Canton, &c. ; a restric- 
tion which must be considered as most oppressive 
in its nature, and shewing a disregard of the social 
relations of human life in separating husband from 
wife, and parent from child. 

" We have the more confidence in appealing to 
your Excellency on this occasion, because former 
Government edicts speak of regarding, with the 
flame benevolence, natives and foreigners. But, in 
the above prohibitions, the very reverse of this 
spirit is manifested. 

"We hope, therefore, that the great officers of Go- 
vernment will forthwith shew a fair and liberal 
treatment of foreign merchants. Then all parties 
may perform their business tranquilly. But, other- 
wise, it is much to be apprehended that disturbances 


will arise ; for the special purpose of preventing 
such, we present this statement, and, with much 
respect, lay it before your Excellency." 

I have given so much of this petition in full, be- 
cause it will serve to elucidate, by a striking in- 
stance, the tyranny which the petty authorities are 
so well disposed to exercise towards us, if we did 
not occasionally exhibit our determination to resist 
their encroachments upon our liberty. 

The presentation of this petition, however, was 
nothing to the success that attended the still bolder 
measure in 1825, when a body of foreign merchants, 
to the number of thirty-seven, rushed into the city 
before the guard had time to close the gate, being 
determined, if possible, personally to present to the 
Viceroy, the copy of a petition that had been delivered 
to a Mandarin, at the gate, eighteen days previously, 
and to which no answer had been returned. They 
thought the boldness of this measure would, at least, 
demand attention, and, probably, prove the surest 
means of relief from a gross extortion of 300 dollars 
for a " chop," or pass, to be allowed to proceed to 

Although these gentlemen got a safe footing in 
the city, they were not sufficiently acquainted with 
the topography of it, to know the exact situation of 
the Viceroy's palace ; they, therefore, went forward 
at random, and eagerly made for the first large 
building they saw, which, on entering, they disco- 
vered to be a, Joss-house ; but, observing a soldier 


run out of it, and supposing he would go direct to the 
Viceroy's palace, to report the extraordinary circum- 
stance of seeing so many foreigners in the city* they 
immediately followed him ; and, after a very smart 
but short run, they came to another large house, 
and seeing a number of soldiers in the yard, they 
made sure it was the Viceroy's palace. All this was 
the work of a few minutes ; indeed, from their rapid 
movements they astonished the Chinese, and en- 
tered the hall before any of them could assemble to 
obstruct their passage. Here they soon discovered 
they had entered the residence of the Commandant 
of that part of the City. After various ineffectual 
threats, and a refusal to receive their petition, 
the Hong merchants, at last, agreed, that if the 
foreigners would quietly and speedily leave the 
city, they would undertake to have the obnoxious 
tax wholly removed. With this assurance they left 
the house, promising to bow to two Mandarins 
as they passed, who were sitting at the outer gate. 
They then quietly departed ; but when they came 
abreast of the Mandarins, they were stopped to hear 
another harangue, which was interpreted by the lin- 
guist as follows : — " that they were now supposed 
to have erred through ignorance ; but whoever 
should be again caught within the gates of the city, 
should be put to death." The Commandant then, 
with a blustering air, stepped forward, and putting 
one hand on my friend Mr. Matheson's shoulder, he 
made a sign with the other, (by passing it round 


his neck) that he ought to lose his head. Mr. M., 
with the utmost presence of mind, instantly caught 
hold of the linguist, and twice performed the same 
ceremony on him, which, strange to say, passed 
without any remark from the Mandarins; and 
they were allowed to proceed without any further 
insult, notwithstanding they had to pass through 
a dense line of military and populace. 

In our case, when the ceremony of presenting the 
petition was concluded, we returned at our leisure, 
without experiencing any interruption from the in- 
habitants of the suburbs; who, although they had as* 
sembled in great crowds in the streets, in a spirit of 
curiosity, exhibited more than their usual politeness 
in withdrawing to allow us room as we passed on. 
In the course of the afternoon, I visited, along with 
iay friend, Mr. Matheson, the house of an opium 
broker,* besides a great number of shops. The sign- 

* Notwithstanding all the prohibitions against the use and intro- 
duction of this drag into China, here we find professed dealers in the 
article, and who are well known by all the government authorities to 
carry on the trade in the most open manner. " This is effected," 
(says the Chinese Repository) " by the payment of certain sums to 
those officers, who ought to carry into strict execution the imperial 
laws ; occasionally, however, there is a difficulty in determining the 
amount that shall be paid. Such a difficulty lately occurred between 
his Excellency the Governor of Canton, and two of the principal 
brokers, Yaou-Kew, and Gow-Kwan, More money was demanded 
than there was a willingness to pay ; accordingly the check on the 
law was taken off, and a detachment of soldiers, 200 strong, made a 
descent on the houses of the above named individuals. They, fortu- 
nately for themselves, had absconded ; but their families, with all 
their effects, were carried off." 


boards of these shops have rather a singular appear- 
ance in the eyes of a stranger, being composed of 
large pieces of thick plank, placed by the side of 
the shop, inserted into the wall, or suspended by 
hooks. The first shop we entered was for the sale 
of deer horns, which are prepared for medicinal 
use, by being well cleaned, then cut into shavings, 
and reduced to powder in a mortar, after which 
they are made into pills. The horns are, for the 
greater part, brought from Cochin China, and some 
of them are covered with hair from the root to the 
point. In another shop we entered, we found the 
vender preparing birds 9 nests for sale, to be con- 
verted into soup for the epicurean purchaser. The 
qualities of the nests vary according to the situation 
and extent of the caves in which they are found, 
and the time at which they are taken. If procured 
before the eggs have been laid, the nests are of the 
best kind ; if they contain eggs only, they are still 
valuable ; but if the young are in the nests, or have 
left them, the whole are nearly worthless, being dark- 
coloured, streaked with blood, and intermixed with 
feathers and dirt. The nests are procurable twice 
every year. The best are found in deep damp caves. 
It was once thought that the caves near the sea-coast 
were the most productive ; but some of the most 
profitable yet found, are situated fifty miles in the 
interior.* The sale of birds* nests is a monopoly 

* I have already mentioned that the same description of nests are 
found in the caves near Kandy, in the interior of Ceylon. 


with all the governments in whose dominions they 
are found. About 243,000 peculs, at a value of 
1,263,570 dollars, are annually brought to Canton. 
We next visited the shop of a well-known confec- 
tioner, Sam-Shing, who prepares and sells to 
foreigners a large quantity of preserved ginger, 
and citron, as well as a variety of fruit and vege- 
table productions. He also sells soy, both of the 
kind made in China, and that which is brought 
from Japan. The latter is considered the best. 
There is a large manufactory of this article in the 
island of Honan, opposite Canton ; and another at 

Soy is made from the seeds (or beans) of the 
Dolichos Sooja, and the process of preparing it is as 
follows: — The beans are first boiled soft, when 
nearly an equal quantity of wheat or barley flour 
is added. After this has gone through a regular 
process of fermentation, a quantity of salt is put in, 
sufficient to make a brine strong enough to float an 
egg, using three times as much water as the original 
quantity of beans. This compound is then left for 
two or three months, when it is pressed, and strained 
for use. It improves by age, and is best preserved 
in earthen jars, and bottles, well sealed. 

The last shop we went into was a shoemaker's, 
one of the most characteristic trades in China. 
Here I found the grotesque shaped shoe which we 
see in prints, and on the stage, realized in all their 
native extravagance. All the shoes have the curve 


upwards at the point, but the shoes of men are 
generally pretty square in the front, while those 
intended for ladies all terminate in a sharp point. 
The main sole of the common shoe is generally 
very thick, and is composed either of wood or cork 
covered with a thin outer leather. The upper parts 
of the finer shoes are usually made of silk, either 
plain, or embossed with .flowers. 

The exclusiveness, or rather, perhaps, the care* 
fulness of the Chinese is slightly evidenced in thefr 
habit of locking up the streets at night. At each 
end of every street there is a door which is always 
closed during the night, and the same custom is 
said to be strictly preserved within the walls of the 
city, where the shops, the people, and their manners 
and customs $re considered to be exactly the same as 
in the suburbs : with this exception, that some of the 
streets within the walls are devoted entirely to distinct 
trades: — thus there is a street of shoemakers, another 
of cabinet-makers, another of lapidaries, and so on. 
It is said that there are no less than 25,000 shoe- 
makers, 16,000 carpenters and cabinet-makers, and 
7,000 lapidaries, in the city of Canton, but I will 
not undertake to verify the accuracy of the state- 

Wednesday, 20. — I visited Mr. Reeves, jun., to- 
day, accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Vachell and Mr* 
Copeland. Mr. Reeves is tea-taster to the British 
Factory, and we were invited to witness the process 
of examining the quality of the teas then about to be 


purchased for the cargoes of the H. C. ships. We 
found a great crowd of idle Chinese about the doors 
of the British Factory, apparently much alarmed at 
the state of affairs, and not a little surprised to per- 
ceive the sedan chairs of all the > Hong merchants 
ranged outside, while their owners were within the 
walls consulting with the gentlemen of the Com- 
mittee. The cause of this unexpected array of the 
sedan chairs w^ts that the Committee of the British 
Factory, since the Chinese authorities had forbidden 
all foreigners from using sedan chairs, resolved to 
prohibit the Hong merchants and Mandarins from 
entering the Factory in their chairs, as they had 
hitherto done, and had accordingly issued an order 
to that effect. The object of the visit of the whole 
body of the Cohong to-day was to make the Com- 
mittee acquainted, pro forma, with the new edicts of 
the Viceroy. It is almost impossible to convey to 
the reader an accurate idea of the insulting cha- 
racter of these edicts by any means short of print- 
ing them in full ; but the indecencies to which they 
bear reference, and the gross language in which 
they are clothed, would render such a course re- 
prehensible. In one of these proclamations they 
charge the British and foreign merchants with the 
worst description of levity and vice, and found upon 
this fiction an excuse for depriving them of the use 
of native servants, which they strictly forbid the 
local authorities to permit them to hire. These 
groundless and wicked charges come with a vqry 


ridiculous effect from a people who are absolutely 
steeped in every depravity, and who, in denouncing 
the supposed, or attributable crimes and faults of 
strangers, are in truth pronouncing the condemna- 
tion of their own. There is not a line of any of these 
braggart proclamations that, I believe, can be said 
in truth, even in their least offensive particulars, to 
lie against our countrymen residing in the neigh- 
bourhood of Canton ; and on the other hand, there 
is scarcely a single immorality to which they point, 
of which the Chinese themselves are not guilty in 
its most odious forms. 

One of the proclamations, announced to the Com- 
mittee by the Cohong, commanded Mrs. Baynes to 
quit Canton immediately ; and another desired the 
Committee, in imperative terms, to deliver up, 
within five days, three Parsee servants, who had 
been implicated in the murder of Capt. Mackenzie, 
of the Dutch ship, Vrow Helena, during an affray 
that took place in one of the houses of the Dutch 
Hong on the 30th September. These proclama- 
tions were accompanied with an impudent threat 
that, in case they were not complied with, the Vice- 
roy would immediately send a military force to take 
possession of the British Factory. In consequence 
of this threat, the Committee, who had previously 
been obliged to employ a few British sailors to 
guard the entrance of the Factory, sent for a couple 
of 32 lb. carronades, a quantity of small arms, and 
a proportionate number of officers and seamen from 


each of the H. C. ships. A regular guard was thus 
at once established for the protection of British life 
and property. I have always entertained but one 
opinion in reference to our connection with, and 
policy, towards the Chinese. We have treated them 
with too much forbearance. They have all the 
braggart, as well as all the recreant qualities of 
cowardice in their nature. If we were to make 
a decided demonstration of hostility, we should 
speedily obtain all that we require at their hands. 
A few British men of war would shatter the flimsy 
armaments of China with as much facility as our 
presence, even in slight numbers and without 
power, keeps their vagabond multitudes in check, 
in the suburbs of Canton. 

Thursday, 21. — Soon after midnight several boats 
arrived from Whampoa, conveying the officers and 
men, with the carronades and ammunition requi- 
site for the protection of the Factory, which were 
all landed very quietly. We had a large party of 
officers belonging to the H. C. ships at breakfast. 

In the course of the morning, I called on the Chief 
of the Factory and his lady, and found them both 
on the point of leaving the house for the purpose of 
inspecting the defences that had been prepared to 
resist the Chinese authorities. The place began to 
assume something of the appearance of a fortifica- 
tion, for, besides the two carronades brought up 
from Whampoa, there were a few small brass guns 
that had been some time in the Factory, and up- 


wards of an hundred seamen, who were all well 
provided with small arms. Mrs. Baynes, in thus 
accompanying her husband to view these warlike 
preparations, reminded me of Queen Elizabeth's 
visit to Tilbury Fort on the expected invasion by 
the Spanish Armada. May not a hero or heroine 
equally develope the character of their genius and 
their mental energies on a small, as well as an ex- 
tended scale — in the midst of the sudden encamp- 
ment in the woods, as well as in the sacked city ? 
Mr. Baynes displayed on this occasion remarkable 
firmness and composure of mind : the situation in 
which he was placed was one of a very trying and 
responsible nature; and he met all its difficulties 
with the utmost calmness and courage. 

The majority of the Chinamen who were imme- 
diately connected with the Factory, pretended to 
treat with ridicule theshow of resistance which was so 
hastily prepared by our countrymen. They affected 
to laugh at the carronades, and, in that tone of 
insolence which they often use solely to conceal 
their fears, they exclaimed, " Chinamen very soon 
chow-chow (eat up) that two piece* large gun!" 

* The word piece, as it is used by the Chinese, does not cany 
the meaning of cannon or any other species of fire-arms merely, but 
is conventionally applied in a loose and general sense. For instance, 
if you ask a Chinaman how many servants or children he has, he will 
answer, " so many piece." Another expression, caught up from the 
floating English of the suburbs, and used in reference to children, 
is curious : — thus, if a Chinaman have three boys and two girls, he 
will answer your enquiry with 1 'he hap five piece chiloh,— three 
piece bull chiloh, and two piece cow chiloh/ 1 


But this air of defiance was considerably moderated 
on the part of the Hong merchants, who made 
another visit to-day of a much more pacific character 
than that of yesterday, for, instead of the heavy 
denunciations that might have been expected to 
follow our vigorous preparations to resist the in- 
junctions of the authorities, the Hong merchants 
were commissioned to inform the Committee that 
the Viceroy did not mean to offer us any insult, or 
to do us any injury, that he was only a little angry, 
and never seriously contemplated the idea of carry- 
ing his threats into execution. The retraction of 
the Viceroy was solely to be attributed to our display 
of strength; and the whole affair completely 
illustrates the mixed daring and recreant character 
of these people. It will also help to shew, in a slight 
degree, the situation in which our countrymen are 
placed in the neighbourhood of Canton, and the 
constant grievances to which they are subjected. 
Such scenes are of frequent occurrence, and it only 
requires decisive measures to chastise the insolence 
of the natives, and secure tranquillity and safety to 
all the British and Foreign merchants. 

The adjustment of the dispute produced a very 
pleasant gathering of the Company's officers at 
dinner, when the whole merits of the case were, of 
course, discussed in detail. The seamen who had 
been brought on shore to assist in the defence were 
entertained with proportionate hospitality, and, I 
have no doubt, found in the doings on land that 


evening, an agreeable variation from the ordinary 
occupations on shipboard. 

Friday, 22. — The weather had been oppressively 
warm for several days, in consequence of the wind 
being from the southward. The H. C. S. Marquis 
Camden, anchored just below the second bar, and 
Captain Larkyns came up to Canton in his own 
boat. He had lost his way on the previous evening 
through a thick fog, and, to avoid a still greater 
evil, was compelled to pass the night in a paddy 
field. At four o'clock in the afternoon, the Hong 
merchants paid another visit to the Factory, when, 
without exactly abandoning their demand, they were 
still milder in their language than before. In the 
evening Mr. and Mrs. Baynes took an airing on the 
river, in one of the Company's boats, and did not 
receive the least affront from any of the Chinese, who 
appeared to conduct themselves with more than 
ordinary circumspection. 

Saturday, 23. — I left Canton this forenoon in one 
of the Canning's boats to visit my friends on board 
the Reliance, lying in Whampoa reach. About 
seven miles from Canton the shores of Whampoa 
island appear, and at this point stands a small fort 
known by the name of Howqua's Folly. The 
river is here divided into two main branches, both 
navigable, which unite again at the other extremity 
of the island, where the anchorage for foreign 
shipping is situated. Whampoa island, which lies, 
as I have described, in the very middle of the river, 


is about four miles in length, and half a mile broad 
in the wide&t part. The town of Whampoa is on 
the south side, better than half-way down, and 
possesses a pagoda, a burial ground, and a custom- 
house for the examination of all boats passing up or 
down the river. The inhabitants are, for the most 
part, chiefly engaged in the shipping lying in Wham- 
poa reach, and in a complete system of smuggling, 
for the prosecution of which their situation affords 
them ample facilities. The channel on the north 
side is called Junk river. From Canton to the anchor- 
age at Whampoa reach is about twelve miles, and 
a good pulling boat generally accomplishes the 
voyage in two hours, with the tide in her favour. 
On our way down we passed the corpse of a dead 
man, which the ebbing. tide had left exposed on the 
bank. Just as I arrived, the H. C, S. Ernaad, 
in which I made a voyage from Madras to Calcutta, 
anchored at Whampoa, and I went on board to 
visit my friend Captain Corstorphinia ; I there met 
Colonel Edwards, who had been a fellow passenger 
with me in the same vessel in which he had now 
come from Calcutta. In the course of the afternoon 
I accompanied Mr. Grant, surgeon of the Reliance, 
to French Island, to join the. funeral procession 
assembled at the interment of . Mr. Shute, chief 
officer of the Dunira, which was very numerously 
attended, by officers, and seamen, from all the ships 
at Whampoa. The principal officers of foreign 
vessels, and passengers, or other persons who die 
4 i 


either at Whampoa, or Canton, are interred in this 
island; while the seamen and petty officers are 
buried in an adjoining one called Dane's Island. 

On a second visit subsequently made to French 
Island, I had the curiosity to examine the tomb- 
stones. The oldest epitaph we could decypher bore 
the date of 1752, and commemorated the virtues of 
a Dutchman. Previous to which time it appears 
that foreigners had aburying ground between two and 
three miles from the Foreign Factories at Canton, on 
a hill near the high road leading to the interior. 
It was not inclosed, and was so encumbered with 
rubbish, that Osbeck says it was with difficulty he 
made out any of the inscriptions on the tomb-stones. 
Osbeck attended the funeral of a Dutch supercargo 
here in 1751, and in speaking of the widow, he says, 
she got admission into the suburbs of Canton with 
much difficulty, observing that the Chinese are 
very singular, looking upon foreign ladies as not 
much better than contraband goods. Thus it ap- 
pears that, in former times, foreign ladies were not 
altogether excluded from Canton. 

There were many tomb-stones of captains, and 
other officers of the H. C. ships, besides officers of 
King's regiments and the Indian army, who had 
visited China for their* health, and consigned their 
bones to its soil: — and also of the Hon. Captain Gar- 
diner, R. N., who died while in command of H. M. S. 
Dauntless, in the year 1820. On both of these 
small islands there are a few scattered villages, 


the inhabitants of which are sometimes very annoy- 
ing to foreigners who happen to walk about alone. 
In some instances they have ascended from insult to 
robbery, and have been known to steal watches and 
other valuables from the persons of strangers, besides 
treating them otherwise ill. In fact, the Chinese 
in the neighbourhood of Canton, as if they felt 
themselves in some measure warranted to do so by 
the tone and conduct of the ruling powers, never 
omit any safe opportunity of insulting or injuring 

It appears there are three descriptions of resur- 
rection men in Canton, who carry on their depreda- 
tions even at the very gates of the city : — first, those 
who open graves, and break the coffins of their foes ; 
from motives of revenge ; second, those who do so to 
strip the dead bodies of their ornaments ; and third, 
those who carry off the dead to obtain a ransom. In 
Governor Loo's proclamation against this practice, he 
states the law to be asfollows : — " to open a graveand 
see the coffin, to be punished by perpetual banish- 
ment. To open the coffin and see the corpse, death by 
strangulation. To carry off the body and demand a 
ransom, death by immediate decapitation, both for 
principals and accomplices." 

Sunday, 24. — About noon, the Hoppo,* or chief 

* The proper title of this officer is Hoy-Kwan, although he is 
commonly called Hoppo by foreigners. The name of the individual 
above alluded to was Eeu-lung, and his title Tai-yun, great man. 
The word Hoppo is derived from Hoo-poo, the Board of Reve- 


custom-house officer, came down the river in great 
state, attended by a number of boats with flags 
flying, which, whenever they had occasion to pass 
near his boat, saluted him after the Chinese fashion, 
with the loud clashing and beating of gongs and 
drums. The object of this visit of the Hoppo to 
Whampoa, was to measure the H. C. ships, prepa- 
ratory to the establishment of the scale of duty to 
be levied. This proceeding is repeated every season, 
although the same ships may have been previously 
measured twenty times over. It may be fairly con- 
jectured, judging from the corrupt character of the 
Chinese authorities generally, that the repetition of 
so needless a ceremony is referable to the fees which, 
on these occasions, it is usual to give to the Hoppo. 
This grand functionary went on board the Duchess 
of Athol, where there was a cold collation prepared 
for his reception, satisfying his official conscience 
by sending his deputies on board the other ships. 
On all such occasions the Chinese mandarins exhibit 
their lore of wine and beer, but especially of cherry 
brandy which they prefer to either. 

There are two custom-house boats, called Hoppo 
boats, attached to every foreign vessel. The osten- 
sible business of these boats is to examine every 
thing that is taken away, or brought on board the 

nue at Pekin, and has been transferred to the person formerly 
commissioned by the Board. At present, the Hoy-Kwan is always 
appointed by the Emperor, and the office given to one of the slaves 
of the Imperial household. 


ships, but they also serve the more congenial pur- 
pose of smuggling things on board, or from the 
vessel to the shore. There is a regular tinder- 
standing between the custom-house officers and the 
smugglers to pay a certain sum for each venture, 
and the custom-house officers in their turn bribe 
the mandarin who is placed over them; so that a 
complete system of fraud exists from the highest to 
the lowest grades of the authorities, and extends 
in various shapes even to the Emperbr himself, who 
participates largely in the evasions of the law, and 
of justice. Any thing can be purchased for money 
in China. Such is the cupidity and adroitnesss of 
the Chinese in the art, if I may so term it, of 
smuggling, that they will undertake to cheat the 
revenue at all times for a stipulated per centage ; 
and I have been told that some of the country 
ships from India have been known to have had half 
their cargoes smuggled on board at Whampoa. 

These custom-house officers generally keep thein 
families living with them in their boats, which are 
always of a good size, and provided with a cabin 
for their accommodation. In the fore part they have 
a stock of small pigs, and keep ducks in baskets 
hung over each side of the boat near the stern. This 
latter usage is common amongst all the cargo boats 
that ply up and down the river. In order, however, 
to make sure of a constant supply, there are large 
boats from place to place, that are expressly em- 
ployed in breeding and keeping ducks for the 


use of the regular craft. These have large platforms, 
built of bamboo and covered with netting, that 
extend a considerable distance beyond the vessel at 
each side, and they are also fitted up with stoves, 
and places for hatching eggs. In the mornings 
the boats are generally hauled close in shore, near 
a paddy field, where the ducks are allowed to ramble 
about in search of provender; and such is the 
training to which they are accustomed, that on the 
whistle of their keeper they all run back to the 
boats as fast as they can, as if they were well aware 
that the last one would get a flogging, which is the 
invariable practice. 

The exactions of the Hoppo, on occasions of his 
visits of measurement, he pretends to accept as 
mere changes of ceremony, by giving to each ship, 
in return for the money he receives, two small bul- 
locks, seven bags of coarse flour, and eight gallons 
of sam-shew, a very fiery spirit, which is gene- 
rally thrown overboard, to prevent the sailors from 
drinking it. These gifts of the Hoppo appear to 
have been an old custom of the country, adopted 
apparently with the intention of affording foreigners 
an opportunity of laying their petitions before him. 

The following extract from a reply of the Canton 
government to a document sent out by the Hon. East 
India Company in 1761, complaining of their 
supercargoes not being allowed to state their 
grievances to the Hoppo, will explain this view of 
the usage alluded to. 


"On examination, it appears, that every year, 
when the foreign ships enter the Port, the Hoppo 
ought, by law, to go in person to Whampoa, and 
superintend the measurement of the ships ; and also 
that, according to regulation, he makes presents of 
cattle to the foreigners five or six times a year. 
At such times all the foreigners are present, and if 
they have any affair about which they require to 
present a petition, can embrace those opportunities 
for doing so. But, indeed, the Hoppo does not 
refuse permission to any foreign merchant to appear 
before him. Hereafter, should there be any really 
important case which cannot be deferred until 
an opportunity when the measurement takes place 
— it is permitted to the said foreigners to go them- 
selves, in company with a surety merchant and 
linguist to the Hoppo's office, and there present 
their petition before him : nor are the officers in 
charge of the gates allowed, from selfish motives, to 
prevent their entrance." 

As I am upon the subject of appeals from foreign- 
ers to the justice of the Chinese authorities, I 
cannot refuse a place to the following very novel 
and amusing illustration of the manner in which 
the Chinese government sometimes think fit to 
treat these matters. The circumstances to which 
it refers occurred in the year 1759. It appears 
that a Mr. Flint, belonging to the English Factory, 
was deputed to enquire into the facilities for 
carrying on the trading connexion with Ning-po, 


and to proceed afterwards to Teen-Tsin with an 
appeal to the Emperor, complaining of the conduct 
of the local government In consequence of this, 
an imperial commissioner was appointed to inquire 
into the affair, and the result was that Lew- 
a-peen, a native who accompanied Mr. Flint, was 
sentenced to death, and Mr. Flint to three years 
imprisonment. The severity of this sentence pro- 
duced a remonstrance from the Court of Directors, 
in which it was stated that Mr. Flint had acted 
under the orders of his own government, adding at 
the same time, a request that he might be liberated. 
The Chinese authorities insolently refused to grant 
the request, and, waiting until the term of three 
years had expired, transmitted the subjoined man- 
date to the King of England, before whom it was, 
probably, never laid. It bears date the 27th year 
of Keen-lung, (A. D. 1762.) 

" Soo, Governor of Kwang-Tung and Kwang- 
Se ; and Ming acting Foo-Yuen of Canton, write 
this for the purpose of making a certain affair 
clearly known. 

' i It is substantiated that the Poo-Ching-Sze and 
Gan-cha-sze of Canton have presented the following 
statement: — * It appears that the foreign criminal 
Hung-jin-hwuy (the Chinese name assumed by Mr. 
Flint) is a foreign merchant of the English nation, 
who was formerly at Canton, going to and fro, for 
the purpose of trade. But Hung-jin-hwuy instead 
of keeping his station and observing the laws, 


formed an illegal connexion with a treacherous 
native, named Lew-a-peen, in the hopes of opening 
a port for trade at the city of Ning-po, in Che-keang 
Province ; and in the 24th year of Keen-Lung, 
advanced as far as the territory of Teen-Tain, to 
present to the Emperor an accusation against the 
Provincial Government of Canton, on various 
grounds* He was tried by an Imperial Commis- 
sioner, and clearly proved guilty; a report was 
returned to His Majesty ; and he had to thank the 
Emperor for his grace and compassion to a distant 
foreigner, in that the treacherous native, Lew-a- 
peen, alone was taken, executed, and his head 
exhibited to the people; while he was merely 
ordered to be kept in confinement at Macao for 
three yeaTs. Now reckoning from the 24th year of 
Keen-Lung, the 10th moon and 17th day (at which 
time he was delivered in custody to the Tung-Che 
of Macao, to be kept in confinement,) to the 17th 
day of the 9th moon of the current year, including 
one intercalary month, the term of three years is 

' Your Excellencies having beforehand presented 
a statement to His Majesty, requesting that Hung- 
jin-hwuy might be liberated and sent back to his 
own Country, have respectfully received His Ma- 
jesty's gracious will declaring his consent. In 
obedience to which a person has already been sent 
to inform the officers civil and military of the said 
place, that, on the 17th day of the 9th moon, of the 


current year, the said criminal Hung-jin-hwuy be 
liberated from his confinement, and delivered in 
custody to Pe-chew, the chief of the foreign Mer- 
chants belonging to the said nation, that he may 
keep him under restraint until such time as the first 
discharged ship of the said nation shall sail ; and 
then cause that he be taken back to his country. 

' It appears also on examination, that although 
Hung-jin-hwuy has excited disturbances and behaved 
in a wild improper manner ; yet owing to the bene- 
volence and compassion of the Celestial Empire, 
he has, fortunately for himself, merely been con- 
fined : and at the expiration of the appointed time 
has been graciously liberated ; thus manifesting in 
the midst of the laws an immense and enlarged 
liberality of feeling, which comprehends every 
human being. For it is not the criminal Hung-jin- 
hwuy, in particular, who has received such ama- 
zingly gracious treatment, as that he should think 
of it with tears, and should rouse up all his grateful 
, feelings — but likewise all the foreigners of the said 
nation have been so drenched with the waves of the 
Imperial favour, that they should leap for joy, and 
turn towards us for civilization ! ! 

4 Now it is reasonable that we should present this 
statement and request, that, when Hung-jin-hwuy 
is sent back to his own country, your Excellencies 
will transmit a document to the King of the said 
nation, — that he may, in obedience thereto, take 
Hung-jing-hwuy, and order him to be kept in safe 


custody, and restrained, and on no account allowed 
again to enter into the interior of our country to 
excite disturbances, and offend against the laws/ 
and so forth. 

" This statement having come before us, the 
Governor and Foo-Yuen, and being substantiated, 
we write the above circumstances, and make them 
known: and on this account we make it clearly 
known to the King of the said nation, that he forth- 
with, acting in obedience to this document, may 
take Hung-jin-hwuy, and order him to be kept in 
safe custody and restrained, and on no account 
allowed again to enter into the interior of our 
country, and excite disturbances ; and that he may 
also command, that hereafter, all connected with 
the merchants who come to Canton to trade, shall, 
considering the depth of the benevolence and ten- 
derness of the Celestial Empire towards distant 
foreigners, with redoubled reverence and respect, 
leep their stations, transact their business quietly, 
and in no manner excite disturbances or act irre- 
gularly, so as to be taken in the net of the national 
laws. Then all will be right. It is absolutely 
required that this reach him, for whose full informa- 
tion it is intended. 

" The above is for the fall information of the King 
of England/' 

But to return to the Hoppo, and the Custom- 
house system. Every bale of cottonj[that arrives at 
Canton, is weighed in the presence of persons de- 
puted by the Chinese merchants, as well as the 


officers of the ships, before it is delivered to those 
who have charge of the lighters intended to receive 
it. Some of the officers of the Reliance, while I 
remained at Whampoa, expressed a wish to have 
themselves weighed — [my readers will say that I 
journey, like the bee, from one thing to another, 
without much arrangement; but, they must re- 
member, that, in my diary, I pursue the course of 
circumstances, rather than the continuity of sub* 
ject] — and as they were all engaged in the amuse* 
ment, it was suggested to me to ascertain my 
weight. It may not be uninteresting to travellers to 
know, that during twenty years, a period spent in 
almost constant activity, my weight never varied, 
one way or the other, more than a few pounds : — 
when I was weighed at Whampoa, I was ten stone 
six pounds, from which my weight has since but 
slightly fluctuated. 

Monday, 25. — I accompanied Mr. Grant and 
Captain Stewart, of the Golconda, to-day, in a sail 
round French and Dane's Islands. My friends 
described the scenery to be very diversified and 
beautiful. This day the Committee, at the Factory, 
received from the Chinese authorities the final 
answer to their remonstrances, by which it ap- 
peared that, although those boasting rulers did not 
attempt to enforce their views, they still adhered to 
the pointless expression of their obstinate opinions. 

Tuesday, 26.*— I returned to Canton in the course 
of this evening, with Messrs. Compton and Grant, 


in Captain Stewart's boat On arriving at my, 
quarters, I found a sick midshipman in my bed. I . 
had no difficulty, however, in obtaining accommo- 
dation amongst so many friends, and was hospitably 
invited to the house of Mr. Fox. 

Wednesday, 27. — I breakfasted at the Factory as 
usual, and met a large party of the Company's 
officers, who were still employed there in mounting 
guard. The Chinese were relaxing in their autho- 
ritative tone, having, doubtless, felt the ill effects of 
the dispute, though they were too haughty to offer 
anything in the shape of conciliation. The weather 
was very warm this morning, with the wind from . 
the southward, which occasionally occurs at this 
season of the year, until the north-east monsoon 
has set in ; but, in the afternoon, it changed to the 
northward in a heavy squall, which made the 
atmosphere considerably colder. About an hour 
before midnight, while at. the house of Mr. Jardine, 
I heard the fire-gongs beating in various directions, 
and some gentlemen who were present, having re- 
paired to the top of the house, perceived a great 
blaze arising from the city. The fire-engines were 
immediately despatched from the Factories, and, on 
the following morning, we were informed, that the 
loss was confined to three houses, which were burnt to 
the ground* The Chinese have an excellent watch 
in the suburbs of Canton, the watchmen keeping 
each other on the alert by constantly striking two. 
pieces of bamboo together ; this, signal they are 


obliged to pass from one to the other in suc- 

Thursday, 28.— There are, at present, in this 
port, a number of fine ships, which are constant 
traders between Bombay and Canton, making but 
one voyage in the year, availing themselves of the 
s. w. monsoon up the China sea, and returning 
with the n. b. 

Since the opening of the trade in 1814, the 
country service may be said to have been on the 
decline, and more confined to the ports eastward 
of the Cape of Good Hope; in consequence of 
which, many of the largest of the Bengal ships have 
found their way into the free trade ; however, the 
vessels performing annual voyages from Bombay to 
China, are still some of the finest private merchant 
ships in the world ; and although this part of the 
country trade has fallen off, their Parsee owners 
continue to be pretty successful in their spirited 
speculations. The commanders and officers of the 
Bombay ships, are principally men who have served 
in the Navy, or Hon. E. I. Company's service. The 
advantages of their situation are not so great as 
formerly ; yet they are better paid than in the home 
trade. The Bombay ships, which are generally 
from 500 to 1200 tons burden, are principally em- 
ployed in the conveyance of cotton to China. 

The vessels from Bengal are much smaller, run- 
ning from 100 to 500 tons, from which cause, their 
voyages are more frequent and various. They are 


also better adapted for the trade of the Indian Ar- 

A new class of vessels have lately sprung up in 
Calcutta, which are built with great attention to 
fast sailing, (commonly called opium-runners) and 
are employed for conveying the first sales of the 
opium to Canton, against the n. e. monsoon in the 
China sea, by which they avoid the delay, and 
other evil consequences, by the circuitous route of 
an eastern passage to China. This improvement in 
naval architecture has reduced the voyage, to and 
from China, against the strength of the monsoon, 
to a common occurrence, which was formerly seldom 
attempted even by vessels of war. For this great 
benefit to commerce we are mainly indebted to the 
talent and zealous exertions of Mr. Seppings, the 
builder, and surveyor of the Hon. E. I. Company at 
Bengal, and in his happy endeavours to perfect 
these vessels, he has had recourse to the plans and 
models of the ships in our navy, as well as the 
French and American privateers, most distinguished 
for fast sailing. 

Captain Clifton, of the Red Rover, who has been 
a midshipman in the navy, had the merit of being 
the first who undertook the voyages against the 

There was but a small party at breakfast this 
morning at the Factory, a separate mess being pro- 
vided for the officers on duty. The guard was 
still at the British Factory, but the sensation which 


its introduction created, is gradually subsiding, and 
the crowds are much less troublesome than at first, 
when they armed themselves with stones to resist 
the rattans of the police. I paid Mr. Dunn another 
visit to-day, and examined, with him, some in* 
teresting models of Chinese temples, bridges, and 

Friday, 29.— Captain Blair, of the H. C. S. 
Fairlie, brought his Lady up from Whampoa to 
visit Canton. An English Lady visiting Canton, is 
the object of as much curiosity and attention as is 
excited by the visit of a member the Royal Family 
in England to a country town. About noon I 
accompanied a party of friends to the Fah-tee Gar- 
dens, which lie about two miles and a half above 
the foreign factories, on the opposite side of the 
river. Foreigners were formerly permitted to visit 
them every day; a misunderstanding having arisen, 
however, between some captains and the mandarins, 
the latter induced the government to restrict the 
time for their inspection, to those days of the moon 
in which the figures 3 or 8 occur, namely, the 3d, 
8th, 13th, 18th, 23d, 28th. These days being ap- 
pointed for the natives to present petitions, the 
mandarins and their clerks are confined to their 
abodes, and there is consequently less danger of a 
collision between foreigners and the natives. In 
these gardens there was a very extensive collection 
of plants and dwarf fruit trees in full bearing* 
They were placed in pots of various fantastic shapes, 


some representing elephants and buffaloes. There 
was a small well-stocked fish-pond, but; the water 
of it was exceedingly dirty, a state which the 
Chinese would be more likely to increase than alter. 

All the Chinese who are in the habit of transact- 
ing business with foreigners speak a kind of English 
jargon, whioh is sufficiently intelligible for ordinary 
intercourse, and from which they do not appear 
to have any wish to depart for the cultivation of a 
better acquaintance with our language. Young 
men and boys. coming to Canton for employment 
as servants or otherwise, are previously taught by 
the older natives, so that the jargon is regularly 
transmitted from generation to generation. 

Sunday 9 31. — Having accompanied Captains 
Morgan, Yates, and Neish, yesterday to Whampoa, 
on a visit to their respective ships, I breakfasted 
with the last mentioned gentleman this morning 
on board the Fort William, and attended Divine 
service afterwards on board the American ship 
Panama. It was performed by the Rev. Mr. 
Abeele, an American missionary of the Presbyterian 
persuasion. There were but five American vessels 
at this time in the port, whereas in 1821 there were 
no less than forty. This was a striking evidence 
of the decrease of the trade with America. We 
visited the Sesoetris and Sir Charles Malcolm ; the 
latter was a very fine ship, built at Bombay, but of 
such peculiar formation, resembling two tea-chests 
placed close to each other, that however she might 

4 k 


answer with the monsoon in her favour, could cer- 
tainly never manage to beat to windward against 
it. All our party that left Canton together dined 
with Captain Morgan of the Pascoe. In the 
evening I visited my friends in the Reliance, and 
took a sail in the long-boat of the Fort William, 
cutter-rigged, of twenty-one tons burden* She was 
intended more as a pleasure, than a cargo, boat. 
Most of the country ships are similarly provided, 
their boats being manned by Lascars, and having 
every necessary accommodation for wet or warm 
weather. These are the only boats that foreign vessels 
send to Canton, the European sailors being too 
much inclined to get drunk, and enter into quarrels 
with the Chinese ; whilst the Lascars, from religious 
scruples are more obedient and sober, though not 
quite unaddicted to the vice of drunkenness. The 
Lascars are also the only foreign seamen that are 
allowed to visit Canton for their pleasure, which is 
for the avowed object of making purchases with the 
two months' wages that are always paid them in 
China. This they usually spend in party-coloured 
umbrellas, coarse china-ware, sweetmeats, &c. 
which they dispose of to great advantage on their 
return to India. 

The dispute with the Chinese has subsided it 
seems for the present, in consequence of an intima- 
tion from the Governor of Canton to the gentlemen 
of the Factory, that if they would send the sailors 
back to their ships, no farther molestation should 


be offered ; and when he received His Imperial Ma- 
jesty's instructions, he would immediately make 
them acquainted with the result. It was therefore 
hoped that foreign ladies would be allowed the 
privilege of visiting Canton with their husbands, 
notwithstanding the occasional fulminating edicts to 
the contrary. 

Monday 9 November 1. — After breakfast I returned 
to Canton with Captain Neish, the Rev. Mr. Abeele, 
and Mr. Rayne. I found every thing going on 
as formerly, the guns as well as the seamen, having 
been sent back to the ships at Whampoa. I accom- 
panied Captain Morgan to the wharf, where the 
Chinese vessel was taking on board his Chow-chow 
Chop. The word Chow-chow signifies "eating," 
and the term Chow-chow Chop is consequently 
applied to the last chop-boat that is loaded for 
any ship, and which is supposed to carry all the 
private stores for the captain, officers, and crew. 
The cargo of this chop is allowed to pass without 
duty, or rather the export duties are paid by the 
security merchants. When these things are on 
board, the readiness of the ship for sailing is implied, 
as in the saying of " the long-boat is in." When 
vessels are preparing for sea, the Comprador takes 
care to have a requisite supply of stock ready at the 
appointed time. These people have a complete 
monopoly in this way, for they will not allow any 
one to sell provisions to foreigners ; nor can you even 
purchase stock at Canton without paying a duty for 


its embarkation. The consequence of this monopoly 
is obvious, the rate of charge being regulated at 
the will of the exacting vendors, is of course higher 
than it would be if the markets were thrown open 
to competition. Nor are the Compradors satisfied 
with their high prices: they resort to every imagi- 
nable device for cheating their customers; requiring, 
in the first place, to be made acquainted with the 
day when the live stock is 'to be sent on board, and 
then, as every animal is purchased, by weight, they 
take care to overfeed them for several days pre- 
viously, sq as to give them an artificial gravity. 
Some of the experienced captains, being fully aware 
of this trick, keep the animals en board a day or 
two without food, before they will permit them to be 

Tuesday, 2. — I visited some Chinese shops, and 
went to one in which there were several beautiful 
ornamental articles of various descriptions; among 
the rest, mandarins and other figures cut out of 
roots of bamboo, and beautifully lackered ; tea-trays ; 
card-boxes; writing-desks; and ladies' work-boxes. 
.Indeed the skill of the Chinese in these fancy ma- 
nufactures, is too well ktaown to require any com- 
ment. I purchased several drawings on rice paper, 
and employed the artist in copying some which I 
had brought with me from England. The material 
called rice paper is not an artificial, but a natural 
production, being a plant belonging to the order 
of Malvaceae. It is the same as the Solah of 


Bengal, which is an 4tachynomene. The process 
of forming it into sheets is similar to that of cut- 
ting cork* 

One of the Hong merchants' chop-boats was stop- 
ped yesterday by the Hoppo, on her way to a ship 
at Whampoa with a cargo of tea ; not for the 
evasion of duties, but for the purpose of " squeez- 
ing/' as it is termed, 10,000 dollars out of the 
merchant. The Hoppo, it appears, is in the habit of 
making similar iniquitous demands, under the plea 
of its being intended as a present for the Emperor, 
while it is well known to be destined for his own 
use. When he has any difficulty in gaining his 
point, he sends for the Hong merchants day after 
day, and keeping them in his office from morning 
till night without any refreshment, at last obliges 
them to acquiesce. As they are compelled to go on 
their knees when he addresses them, it is said that 
he at one time took the opportunity of keeping 
several of them in that position for six hours, in 
consequence of which they have since invariably 
taken care to provide themselves with kneepads, 
which they fix on under their trowsers, on the occa- 
sion of their attendance. In the case just mentioned 
a representation was made to the gentlemen of the 
Factory, and the Committee ordered the cessation 
of their trade with the Hongs, as the best means of. 
resisting the imposition. The stoppage caused a 
murmur and discussion among the people, which 
soon obliged the Hoppo to desist from his demand, 


and the chop w&s accordingly permitted to proceed 
on the Thursday following. 

Wednesday, 3. — A report was prevalent to-day, 
among the Chinese, that an order had been issued 
by the Governor for 3000 troops to march into the 
province, westward of Canton, for the purpose of 
quelling an insurrection which had recently broken 
out. It was said to have arisen from the imposition, 
by the Chief Magistrate of that district, of an addi- 
tional tax upon rice. On the remonstrance of the 
people, he caused three of them to be decapitated 
as rebels ; upon which the son of one of the sufferers 
became the leader of the insurgents, who increased 
so rapidly, and were so determined on obtaining 
redress, that the whole province became alarmed 
for its safety. 

Thursday, 4. — Mr. and Mrs. Thornhill arrived 
at the Factory this morning from Macao, without 
having experienced any interruption or insult on 
their way. I attended a Chinese theatrical per- 
formance, which is called in Chinese-English, Sing- 
Song. Their pieces are said to be historical, and em- 
brace long stories of love and jealousy ; in which, 
however, the cultivation of moral or intellectual 
feelings is never desired ; but, on the contrary, every 
species of indecency is introduced, to the great de- 
light of the native audience. Notwithstanding the 
nature of their performances, the stage is usually 
erected opposite a house of religious worship, which, 
by a strange perversion of reason, they consider a 
compliment to their gods. 


Friday \ 5. — I accompanied Professor Neumann 
to-day in a visit to a large monastery, on the oppo- 
site side of the river, commonly called the Honan 
Joss-house. There are nearly 100 Budha Priests in 
this monastery, who are under vows of celibacy, 
and live solely on vegetable diet. They were very 
polite in shewing us over the building, and, after 
offering us refreshments, favoured us with a 
sight of their sacred hogs. These animals, about 
twelve in number, are treated, from a devotional 
feeling, with the best fare that can be obtained ; 
they are never killed, and frequently live to the age 
of threescore and ten. When death removes one 
of them, its place is immediately filled by another, 
as the monks are desirous of having it believed that 
they are immortal. This monastery* was used as 
the residence of Lord Amherst, during his embassy. 
On leaving the monastery, we dined with Captain 
limes, the Commodore of the Hon. Company's ships 
for the season. 

Saturday, 6. — I attended the pale by auction of 

* Since my visit, the Temple has been partly destroyed by fire : 
of which I find the following description in the Chinese Reposi- 
tory for March, 1834.— " A fire in the Temple of Honan, nearly 
opposite to the foreign Factories, was discovered early in the 
evening of the 4th inst., and before ten o'clock, the Choo-teen 
ko, a large hall filled with idols, was reduced to ashes. The 
fire was communicated from a lamp which hung near one of the 
shrines. When the flames first broke out, considerable concern was 
felt for the other parts of the Temple, and for the house of the senior 
Hong merchant, which stood near the Choo-teen ko." 


the effects of the late Mr. Shute, chief officer of 
the Dunira, which took place at Markwick and 
Lane's Europe warehouse, Imperial Hong* The 
fanner of these persons keeps an hotel opposite the 
warehouse ; it is the first bouse of the kind in Can- 
ton, and had been much wanted, m consequence of 
the number of strangers constantly arriving from 
India and other places. 

Smday, 7. — The Rev. Mr. Yachell performed 
Divine service at the Factory chapel, which was well 
attended. Mr. Low, an American merchant, re* 
siding at Canton, brought Mrs. and Miss Low from 
Macao to*day, in a fine decked boat, named the 
Sylph. In a private boat you are not subject to 
be stopped and examined by the Custom-house 
officers on the banks of the river, or by the Manda- 
rin boats ; nor would any Chinese boat have dared 
to convey a foreign lady up the river, as was done 
in the present instance with impunity. 

Wednesday, 10. — I accompanied a party of gen* 
tlemen, yesterday, to Whampoa, to attend a survey 
of some of the Hon. Company's ships, previous to 
their taking in cargo : and to-day we had a grand 
rowing match, between the best boats of the several 
ships at anchor here. It appeared to afford great 
gratification to the officers and crews of the respec- 
tive ships, as. also a number of persons who had 
come from Canton on purpose to witness it. It com- 
menced at eleven o'clock, and terminated about 
three in the afternoon. 


Tkmday, 11. — The boat-racing matches were 
renewed to-day y beginning at the same hoar as 
yesterday, and terminating at half-past five. As 
the life-boats were rowed with their pings out, the 
water was up to the thwarts, which made it very 
cold work for the poor fellows who had to pall. 
We returned to Canton this evening in a " chop/' 
and reached the Factory at midnight, having been 
favoured with a visit from the Custom-house officers 
on our way. 

Monday, 15. — Mr. M 'Vicar invited me to accom- 
pany him to the house of a Chinese, with whom a 
party of his English friends were about to dine. We 
repaired to the Chinaman's abode at half-past 
five, in the expectation of a repast in the Chinese 
style, but were much disappointed on finding it al- 
most wholly composed of English dishes. 

Wednesday, 17.— The first of the H. C. ships 
for the season, the Dunira, Thomas Courts, Wil- 
liam Fairlie, and Duchess of Athol, were des- 
patched on this day (as usual) for England. The 
Ex-Governor of Penang and his family, were to 
join the Thomas Coutts, at North Island, in the 
Straits of Sunda. On leaving the river, a gun, un~ 
shotted, was fired at each of these ships by one of 
the forts at the Bogue, and having returned the 
compliment, they proceeded on their voyage with- 
out any further interruption. This salute was given 
in consequence of three of them having sailed with- 
out their grand chop, or port clearance, which 


omission they attributed to the neglect of the secu- 
rity merchant, and some delay on the part of the 
Chinese authorities. The pilot on board the Du- 
chess of Athol, was so afraid of the consequences 
of his taking a ship out under such circumstances, 
that he jumped overboard from the poop, on hear- 
ing the first gun, trusting to the chance of being 
picked up by some passing boat. 

I left Canton this evening with Captain Yates, 
for Whampoa. The night became so dark and 
cloudy, that we ran on a shoal off Whampoa Island, a 
little below Howqua's Fort, and remained a-ground 
for a considerable time : on getting off, we were soon 
obliged to anchor in consequence of the flood-tide 
setting against us; but, about three o'clock on 
Thursday morning, we were able to proceed, and 
reached the Sesostris at six. Having visited 
some of the H. C. ships, I returned with Captain 
Yates to Canton. Two Chinese received a casti- 
gation on the parade this evening; one at the 
hands of Captain Neish, whom he had insulted ; and 
the other, from an officer in the Company's ser- 
vice, at whom he had thrown a stone. The latter 
offender was dragged by his tail to the Chinese 
police-office, where he was additionally punished, 
by order of the Mandarin. 

Friday, 19. — The Mandarins were informed this 
morning, as usual, that the Company's bales of 
woollens were ready for their inspection ; but they 
refused to attend, unless permitted to enter the Fao 


tory in their sedan-chairs. This refusal was met 
by a declaration, that, if they did not think proper 
to come, a party of seamen would be ordered to 
carry the goods into the store without examination ; 
they had consequently no alternative but to attend, 
and with more than their accustomed gravity caused 
the goods to be passed. Mr. Copeland and myself 
accompanied Mr. Reeves and his son to-day, to 
dine, & la mode Chinois, with one of the Hong mer- 
chants, named Tin-qua ; whom we found, on our 
arrival, ready with two of his Chinese friends to 
receive us. On dinner being announced, we were 
conducted to a circular table, and each of us pro- 
vided with a pair of ivory chopsticks mounted with 
silver, a silver ladle with the handle much curved, a 
small cup of soy, a saucer or stand for the bowls 
out of which we were to eat, and an elegant silver 
cup richly gilt, with two handles, mounted on a 
stand of similar material, and resembling in form 
an inverted saucer. This cup was used for drink- 
ing Suey-sung, the wine of the country, 
and did not contain more than the old-fashioned 
Chinese tea-cup; but after drinking the health of 
one of the party it was usual to turn the inside of 
the cup towards him to shew that it was empty. 
The wine was presented to us boiling hot, and our 
cups replenished at every remove. In addition to 
the above, each European was supplied with a knife 
and fork and some bread. The table was laid out 
with eight small dishes containing articles to whet 


the appetite, such as eold dried pork, called chin- 
chew, grated so fine that it resembled red-coloured 
wool; small chips of dried salt fish and ham; roast 
chicken, cut into small pieces shaped like dice; 
pig's tongue ; salt fish, torn into shreds like flax ; 
legs of ducks, cured in the same manner as hams ; 
and a salad, composed of greens, onions, garlic, salt 
fish, and eggs, mixed up with tea-oil. These 
delicacies were cold, remaining on the table 
throughout the entertainment, and were paid un- 
common attention to by the Chinese, at every oppor- 
tunity afforded them by the removal of the bowls. 
The dinner commenced with a large bowl of birds - 
nest soup, from which each person helped himself. 
We found it very insipid until flavoured with soy, 
as the necessary condiments of salt and pepper seem 
to be wholly neglected in Chinese cookery. TTie 
second dish was shark's-fin soup with balls of crab, 
followed by divers others, among which was a vege- 
table soup made of prepared sea-weed from the 
coast of Japan. This weed, which is called Tay-choey, 
resembles in its dried state the pith found in the 
hollow of a quill, but in the soup its taste is similar 
to that of celery; there were also in this soup slices 
of young bamboo, and roots of the white and water 
lily, each having a peculiar and agreeable flavour. 
After the soups, came stewed mutton, cut as fine 
and tender as vermicelli, the gravy delicious. This 
was followed by roasted pigeons' eggs in a very rich 
gravy; we found it no easy matter, however, to 


transfer these eggs from the bowl to our cups by 
means of the chop-sticks. The Chinese do not 
clean or change their chop-sticks during the dinner, 
but each thrusts his own into every dish and helps 
himself throughout the repast. They also consider 
it excessively polite to help a foreigner with their 
chop-sticks, after having eaten with them themselves 
from various dishes. Next came roasted pork, the 
skin of which was served up by itself as a peculiar 
delicacy, having been fried brown in fat, and cut 
into squares. Roast capons followed, and were 
found exceedingly tender, having been fed on 
ground rice. Stewed teal was then served, fol- 
lowed by stewed pigeons, mushrooms, ducks' feet, 
and a numberless variety of dishes, of the names 
of many of which we were, of course, ignorant. At 
the conclusion a large bowl of rice was served up, 
as hot as possible, with sundry square pieces of 
salt fish to give it a relish. To eat a bowl or two 
of this rice at the " wind up" of a hearty dinner is 
considered by the Chinese as a sign of a good con- 
stitution, (one thing is pretty clear, that it is a proof 
of a strong and capacious stomach), and our friends 
attacked it accordingly. We had neither butter 
nor cheese on the table, as the natives do not milk 
their cows in the neighbourhood of Canton, and 
foreigners are therefore obliged to provide them* 
'selves with cows for their own purposes. Our host 
adopted the English custom and set the example of 
drinking wine with each other ; while we, at the 


same time, followed the Chinese mode of salutation, 
repeating the word chin-chin, and inclining the cup 
towards the person whose health we drank, to shew 
that we had emptied its contents. 

Wine fills the veins, and healths are understood 
To give our friends a title to our blood.— Waller. 

This wine is extracted from rice, and though by no 
means strong, has rather a pleasant flavour. They 
drink it exceedingly hot, with the idea Jhat it is an 
appetizer and assists digestion. It seems to be used on 
the same principle as the warm liquor of the Roman 
epicures, which enabled them to continue at supper 
all night long. We had a desert of preserved and 
dried fruits, followed by tea ; after which we took 
our leave.* 

On our way to the Factory we observed a bamboo 

* The Chinese shopkeepers usually take two meals a day : the 
first between eight and ten o'clock in the morning, and the second 
between four and six o'clock in the afternoon. Their ordinary diet 
is composed of rice in large quantities ; pork or fish (with much 
sauce) in small quantities ; and vegetables ad libitum ; while their 
beverage is warm tea without milk or sugar, and sometimes a dram 
of sam-shew. Their shops are always shut about sunset, when they 
retire from business, but not to enjoy repose, as they then betake 
themselves to gambling, smoking, and other debauched habits ; 
they even gamble for what fruit and sweetmeats they desire to 
have from the stalls in the streets. In the banquets of the rich 
(called in the Chinese phraseology, " Drinking'') they have hens and 
ducks' eggs dyed red, also ginger steeped in a sour liquid ; and each 
guest takes home with him three or four red eggs and a bit of the 


shed which had just been erected by the river, near 
the place of embarkation at the end of Hog Lane, 
in which were deposited, till morning, the mortal 
remains of a Mandarin, who had died about eight 
months previous. His friends had waited for what 
they considered a lucky period for interment, and 
which, it seems, was now arrived. The hut was 
erected, not with a view to protect the coffin from 
exposure to the weather, but in order to propitiate 
their imaginary deity for a prosperous voyage, as 
the remains of the magistrate were to be conveyed 
to his native place. A Mandarin's flag had been 
procured for the boat, and, as it was thereby 
secured from examination, it was, doubtless, made 
the medium of smuggling opium to a considerable 

Sunday, 21. — I paid another visit to Whampoa 
to-day with Captain Yates, and found that the 
Fort William had dropped down below the rest 
of the shipping in preparation for sailing on the 
following day for Bombay. She had taken on 
board 2000 chests of tea for the Merope, Capt. 
Parkyns, lying at Lintin, and bound to New South 
Wales. By shipping her cargo outside the Bogue, 
she avoided the heavy duties to which all vessels 
render themselves liable that enter the river, though 
ships are permitted to take on board what they 
please for others outside, not only without subjecting 
themselves to the exaction of duty, but gaining a 
small freightage for the trouble of the transport. 


All baits and persons employed by the shipping 
at Whampoa are taxed by the custom-house officer 
who attends each ship, even to the poor woman 
who washes the sailors' clothes ; and the officer in 
turn passes a fee to the Mandarin for his privilege, 
so that the " squeezing" system prevails through all 
ranks from the highest to the lowest. 

Women are constantly employed in small boats, 
in which they live with their families ; and to pre* 
vent accidental drowning they attach a gourd, or a 
piece of hollow bamboo stopped up at each end, 
to the backs of the younger children, to serve as a 
float. These women are exceedingly awkward in 
their gait, which is caused by the position in which 
they sit while rowing. As they are all women of 
licentious habits, they are designated by the Chinese 
Sotri Quit " convenient water-fowl." 

Foreign vessels trading to China generally take 
the opportunity of painting and gilding while 
they are in the river, in consequence of the eco- 
nomy and elegance with which such ornamental 
work is executed. The mode adopted is to form 
a contract with a Chinese for painting the whole 
ship, inside and out, which includes every article 
belonging to the vessel, namely, casks, buckets, 
tables, chairs, seamen's chests, &c. The price is 
regulated according to the size of the ship and 
the colour of the paint, but the Chinese con- 
tractor is obliged to pay a tax of 30 dollars to the 
Mandarin, before he is permitted to come on board. 


Captain Yates and myself left Whampoa on our 
way back to Canton; about three o'clock we passed 
a junk going up the river, that had just arrived, 
and was saluted by all the other junks in the river 
by beating gongs, a compliment which she returned. 
As. sunset was approaching we observed a person 
employed on board every vessel and boat, in burning 
coloured or gilt paper which he held in his hands, 
bowing at the same time towards the setting sun, 
and beating a gong. All Chinese vessels have 
what is termed a joss-house on board, in proportion 
to the size of the vessel. In these they place wooden 
images richly gilt, and joss-sticks which they keep 
continually burning. But in boats they have only 
a small glass-fronted case, filled with highly-gilded 
flowers with Chinese characters pasted on the back 
of them, and one or more joss-sticks, composed of 
cow-dung and sandal wood likewise in a state of 

Tuesday* 23. — Having paid a visit to Mr. Dunn, 
I had the gratification of examining two handsome 
models of Chinese summer-houses, built in the 
pagoda style, one of them being nearly square, with 
only a ground floor, while in the other there was 
a second story, highly ornamented with figures on 
the roof. He was kind enough to present me at 
the same time with a shirt of bamboo* net- work, the 

* The cultivation of bamboo is perhaps more attended to, and 
applied to more useful purposes in China, than in any other part of 
the world. There are a great many varieties of the plant, and some 
4 L 


novelty and utility of which I happened to admire. 
These shirts are worn in summer next the skin for 
the sake of coolness, and also to keep their silk 
dresses from being soiled by the heat of the body. 
There is a small market near the Factories, at the 
bottom of Old China street, where vegetables and 
fruit are exposed for sale, and, to the astonishment 

of them differ considerably in height, dimensions, substance, colour, 
and quality. The black are the rarest and most esteemed, but the 
process required for producing this colour, is said to be known only 
to the Chinese. 

This plant is applied to so many uses in China, that perhaps the 
shortest way would be to state, what it is not used for : however, it 
may be interesting to name a few of the purposes to which it is most 
commonly applied ; in the first place, the leaves are used for 
covering small houses, making jackets, hats, umbrellas, lining tea- 
chests, stuffing beds and pillows, and for fodder when green. 

The diameter of the stem and its height vary considerably. The 
usual height is about 40 or 50 feet, but they are occasionally to be 
met with between 60 and 70 feet, and they run from 1 to 8 inches in 
diameter. The distances between the joints of some kinds are from 
4 to 6 inches, while in others they are from 4 to 5 feet apart. It is 
said to succeed best in a sandy soil, on the banks of rivers, and in 
new drained marshes, where the roots can easily penetrate. It is 
always propagated by suckers, for it seldom blows, and still more 
rarely perfects it seeds. It requires between 4 and 5 years, before a 
plantation arrives at the most desirable stage for cutting. The stem 
is used in building of houses, making boats, canes, rods of correction 
in police offices and schools ; and after undergoing the process of 
maceration, hats, paper, &c. &a 

The roots of this plant are carved into various forms, and grotesque 
images. The young shoots are much used as a vegetable, a pickle, 
a preserve, and as a medicine. 


of Europeans, there is a constant supply of dogs and 
cats intended for the table; they are brought in 
baskets alive and sold by weight. The dogs are 
generally young puppies, but the cats are of various 
ages. Rats and frogs are also commonly sold for 
eating, and even dead rats thrown overboard from 
ships at Whampoa, are picked up by the natives 
and cooked. The above mentioned animals are also 
hawked about the streets of Canton in baskets for sale. 

The Ann and Amelia arrived this evening from 
England, with Messrs. Majoribanks and Davis as 
passengers; the former coming out as President, 
and the latter as a member of the Select Committee. 
The. gentlemen whom they superseded, left their 
posts with general respect and regret; indeed, it 
was a matter of astonishment that they were dis- 
placed, after the energy and ability with which 
they had supported the cause of their countrymen 
against the insults and imposition of the Chinese. 
It is, however, very satisfactory to add, that the im- 
portant interests entrusted to Messrs. Majoribanks 
and Davis, could not have been confided to abler 

Wednesday* 24. — Another English lady, Mrs. 
Whiteman, arrived to-day from Macao, with as 
little interruption as attended the landing of any 
of the ladies who preceded her, having merely to 
encounter a gazing crowd of idle Chinese. About 
the usual time of promenade, there was a race on 
the river between two English wherries, one a six- 


oared boat, belonging- to Captain Madden, but pul- 
ling only four, and the other a four-oared boat, the* 
property of Captain Larkyns. The latter won the 
race, as might be supposed from the above circum- 
stance. Messrs. Hudlestone, Astell, and Clarke 
set off for Macao this evening, in the Sylph, free- 
passage-boat, taking with them a license for four 
persons, to come from Macao to Canton, in a 
Chinese boat, no person being allowed to pass in a 
Chinese boat, without such a license. This was in- 
tended for the new Chief of the British Factory and 
three of his friends, and was obtained in four and 
twenty hours after application, though the usual 
time consumed in procuring this document is fre- 
quently more than double that period. 

Monday, 29. — Mr. Davis arrived from Macao 
this morning, accompanid by Dr. Morrison and 
Mr. Dalrymple. The British merchants of Canton 
presented a very gratifying address to the Ex- 
Members of the Committee, whose deposition has 
caused, it would seem, very general regret. 

Wednesday, December 1. — Mr. and Mrs. Baynes 
embarked with their family, yesterday, for Macao, 
and to-day, the H. C. S. Edinburgh, sailed for 
England. Despatches also were forwarded to the 
Macqueen, lying at the second bar, preparatory to 
sailing. Dined at Mr. Fox's, where I met Captain 
Parkyns, who had arrived from Lintin, to make 
final arrangements for his voyage to New South 


Saturday > 4. — Since Mrs. WhitemAn's arrival in 
Canton, Mr. W. has been frequently visited by the 
Hong merchants, who have used every endeavour 
to persuade or compel him to take his lady back 
to Macao. Finding their entreaties of no avail, they 
have annoyed him by impeding his trade, and 
causing his Chinese servants to leave him. Mr. 
Whiteman informed the Hong merchants, that 
when Mrs. Thornhill, the only lady remaining in the 
British Factory, left Canton, Mrs. Whiteman should 
follow her example, to which they replied, " that 
he was only a little merchant, while the British 
Factory was a great body ;" this reply was in uni- 
son with the general tenor of Chinese official pro- 
ceedings, in which the power of resistance was 
looked to, rather than the justice of the measure. 

We have had, for several days past, a constant 
rattling of money in the Hongs* arising, I under- 
stand, from weighing and examining dollars re- 
ceived from the Chinese, to be -sent to England in 
the H. C. ships. As each of the shopkeepers has a 
private mark, or Chinese character, which he stamps 
on the coin, the accumulation is so great as to 
render the original die quite illegible, so that flie 
Hongs are, in general, obliged to resort to weight 
as the only means of ascertaining the value. There 
is, at present, it seems, a considerable drain of 
•specie from China, for which several causes are 
assigned. It is principally attributed to the opium 
trade, which is invariably carried on in specie, 


to the amount of several millions annually. It is also 
constantly forwarded to England by the agents for 
European houses, and Native Indians, and there 
has been, at the same time, a considerable de- 
crease in its importation into China. The Ame- 
rican vessels were accustomed to bring with them 
dollars, for which however, British manufactures* 
woollens and cottons, are now substituted. 

Information was received on Saturday, that the 
Imperial Government required 1,000,000 of taels 
from the Canton treasury, for the purpose of 
raising an army to suppress a rebellion that had 
just broken out. 

It is a common thing in the streets of Canton to 
see a red lacquered stand, over which at times a 
large umbrella is placed, where the lower orders 
assemble to undergo the necessary operation of 
shaving. Here they may also have their hair 
dressed, trimmed, and plaited, their eyes and ears 
cleaned, their bodies shampooed, and even their toe 
nails duly attended to. Strangers may be waited 
on at their lodgings, when they require the services 
of these barbers, of whom there are seven thousand 
in the city of Canton. Quack doctors also have 
stands in the streets, where they exhibit a variety 
of plaisters, herbs, and puffing paragraphs. 

There are a great number of regular practitioners 
in Canton, amounting, it is supposed, to nearly two 
thousand, but the fashionable one is Chin-she-tih, a 
man upwards of sixty years of age. He rose in his 


profession from a state of poverty, a mere hawker of 
drugs, but at present he is said to be possessed of a 
million of the currency of the land (taels). Still he 
preserves his old simple habits. His house is situated 
near the Tartar General's, in the old city; early in 
the morning it is open for patients, who, as they 
come in, are conducted to a room adjoining the 
Doctor's, where they wait for him in silence. Pa- 
tients who wish him to call at their houses, enter 
their names and places of abode, with his door- 
keeper. About nine o'clock he sallies forth, com- 
mitting himself entirely to his faithful servant, and 
chair-bearers, who carry him round to the patients 
in the order of time as reported at his gate. Those 
whose names are first entered are if possible first 
served, without reference to their rank or condi- 
tion. He makes no charges: his patients may give 
a fee or not, as they please. He receives no money 
with his own hand. People's tangible thanks are 
given to his servant. 

Chin, whose name means "Sink" is a man 
of few words; and these few uttered in the 
dialect of the Whampoa district. He speaks the 
mandarin as a broad Scotchman speaks English. 
He either cannot, or will not, satisfy any person 
about the power of the drugs he administers; — 
which, by the way, it is said, are very few. He 
rings the changes on about twenty- four descriptions 
of medicine, being rather a cautious practitioner. . 
He is the opposite of the Rhubarb Doctor , who long 


held the reins of medical sovereignty in Canton, 
for Dr. Sink never administers rhubarb at all. Still 
he has become very popular among the rich natives, 
and in all the public offices. They say that al- 
though he does not speak good mandarin, and is not 
able to-* explain the properties of his prescriptions, 
yet people very generally get well under his care, 
and therefore he has risen to his present influence 
and affluence. 

It has been said of him, that he first obtained 
notoriety by pretending to cure leprosy. This 
reputation he sustained by first occasioning, when 
called to visit patients, a false species of leprosy, 
which he afterwards found no difficulty in curing. 

It appears by the Chinese Repository, that early 
in 1833, some pirates, knowing the circumstance of 
the Doctor's wealth, and what was much for their 
purpose also, his great greediness of gain, formed a 
plan to carry him off. Two of their number, 
dressed like the attendants of a naval officer, were 
deputed to repair to Canton, and with a box of 
silver, amounting to one hundred taels, to wait on 
the old gentleman, to present him with the money, 
and to solicit him in the most importunate manner 
to visit their master in distress on board his junk, 
which they said was anchored a few miles below the 
city. Flattered and cheered by the money, Dr. 
Chin was soon seated in their boat, and did not 
learn the secret until he was without the Bogue, 
when he was seen, by persons on board other boats, 


weeping bitterly, and begging to be allowed to 
return. In this situation terms of release Were 
proposed; he might write to his friends in Canton; 
and if, in a specified time and manner, they would 
pay two thousand tads, he should be released ; 
otherwise he should be cut in quarters, and sunk in 
the sea. The proposals were accepted, and the 
Doctor, after the money was received, returned 
unhurt to his family. 

Thursday ,9. — I accompanied Mr. Dent yesterday 
in his wherry, when I gave him my assistance in 
rowing, performing that office much to his astonish- 
ment, paticularly in the vicinity of Canton, where 
the tide is strong and the river crowded with 
a multitude of boats, 4 * barges, fee. &c. This 
being considered by the gentlemen of the Factory 
as an achievement on my part, I was invited to-day 
to perform a similar service in their Bix-oared 
wherry, before dinner. We pulled a considerable 
distance from the Factories, having gone round a 
small island in the Macao Passage, on which there 
is a pagoda. 

Friday, 10. — Mr. Majoribanks arrived in Canton 
this morning, from Macao. I dined with Captain 
Baylis of the H. C. S. Canning, at whose table I 
met a large party, composed of the "rank and 
fashion" of foreign society in Canton. 

Saturday, 11. — I was much occupied to-day in 

* There are, it is said, no leas than 50,000 tanka boats and 
1 8,000 trading boats employed on the river. 


writing letters, as a letter-bag for England was to 
be closed this evening. I dined with Mr. Dent, to 
meet Captain La Place, of the French corvette La 
Favorite. Captain Corstorphine, of the Ernaad, 
having volunteered to convey Captain Parkyns and 
his passengers from Whampoa to Lintin, where the 
Merope is at anchor, requested us to hold ourselves 
in readiness for embarking on the following day. 

Sunday, 12. — There was a large dinner party 
to-day at the Factory, with the new Chief for the 
first time in the chair. Our society was graced by 
the presence of the only English ladies in Canton, 
Mrs. Thornhill and Mrs. White man ; and our em- 
barkation having been fortunately deferred till the 
following day, I was enabled to participate in the 
pleasure which their presence diffused. 

Monday, 13. —Having lost some dollars from 
my portmanteau a few days since, my suspicions 
naturally fell on my Chinese servant, who was the 
only person that had access to my apartment. He 
endeavoured to father the theft upon the house- 
porter, and this morning was accordingly appointed 
for all the Chinese servants of the house in which 
I resided, to undergo an ordeal that they expected 
would discover the guilty party. This was no 
other than taking an oath, dictated by their own 
superstitious notions of religion. The porter was 
the first to propose this method of proving his in- 
nocence, and the following is a translation of the 
oath which he pronounced on the occasion : — 


" This being the twenty-ninth day of the tenth 
moon of the tenth year of Taou-Kwang, and Mr. 
Holman of the English nation having lost on the 
twenty-sixth instant sixteen dollars, which it is said 
I, the Coollie, stole. Since the affair cannot be 
otherwise cleared up, I, Paou Atae, in the presence 
of Heaven swear, before all the holy Pooysa 
(Gods), if I, Paou Atae, have stolen these sixteen 
dollars, may my wife and children and father and 
mother all die like this living cock. Witness this, 
ye azure Heavens. But if Atae has not stolen these 
sixteen dollars, may blessings descend upon my 
person, and my whole family enjoy tranquillity. I, 
Paou Atae, kneel, knock head, and present this 

Having uttered these words on his knees before 
a temporary altar (an old stool on which were 
placed two burning Joss candles), he rose, and 
seizing the cock, laid its neck on a piece of timber 
and instantly decapitated it with a cook's chopper. 
This acquitted him completely in the eyes of the 
Chinese assembled, and my servant was invited to 
adopt the same ceremony. He refused, however, 
notwithstanding his repeated protestations of inno- 
cence, and was accordingly considered by all pre- 
sent as the thief; the affair and the guilty servant 
were then dismissed together. 

Arrangements having been entered into between 
Captains Corstorphine and Parkyns, for the depar- 
ture of their passengers from Canton this afternoon. 


I accordingly embarked in the boat of the ErnS&d, 
about half-past three, for the purpose of proceeding 
to that vessel, which was lying at Whampoa, in 
readiness for sailing. I was accompanied on board 
by Messrs. Fox and Poe, and we were escorted to the 
water side by a number of our friends,who vied with 
each other in shewing us the most gratifying atten- 
tion. AmongthecivilitieswhichI received, I must not 
forget the politeness and good feeling of a Mandarin 
Custom-house officer, whose duty it was to examine 
the baggage previous to its embarkation. When I 
came forward with my keys to enable him to do so, 
he would not permit any thing whatever belonging 
to me to be opened, or examined ; a delicacy, on his 
part, which was the more admired, perhaps, by 
myself and friends, from its being so little expected 
in a native of China. We arrived on board the 
Ern&ad after a very cold row of nearly three hours 
duration ; from which I have to date a very se- 
vere attack of rheumatism. Finding myself once 
more on board the ship in which I had formerly 
made a very pleasant voyage, it naturally brought 
old and agreeable recollections to my mind ; parti- 
cularly, as I felt a personal regard for Captain Cor- 
storphine, from his gentlemanly conduct, and kind 
attention, during the time we were together. 

Notwithstanding the Ern&ad belonged to the 
Hon. Company's transport service, her equipment 
was, in every respect, similar to other country ships 
tinder the British flag ; however, as Captain Cor- 



storphine had served a long time in the navy, the 
discipline observed on board was similar to that in 
a British man-of-war. The crew consisted of 90 
person^ composed of the following grades and na«* 
tions: — 1 Captain, and 3 European officers, 18 
country-born Portuguese (Catholics), who are gene- 
Tally employed as follows, — 1 gunner, 6 sea-cun- 
nies, (quarter-masters), who are not only thorough 
seamen, but good sail-makers — 4 sweepers, and the 
rest servants and cooks — 2 Chinese carpenters, and 
66 Lascars. Six of the latter are Sepoys, serving 
as marines. 

The wages of the above-named officers and crew 
are as follows : — 


. 450 rupees per month 

Chief Mate . 



Second Mate 

. . 100 


Third Mate . 

. . 80 


Gunner . . 

. . 40 


Carpenter . 

. . 40 



. . 30 


Sea-cunnie . 

. . 22 


The rest of the crew from from 15 to & ditto 
The Commander furnishes a table for his officers 
at sea ; but during the time the ship is in port, th^e 
officers have to support a mess conjointly. The 
following provisions are usually served to a Lascar 
crew ; viz. rice, dholl (split peas), ghee (clarified 
butter), salt-fish, and curry-stuff, of which they 
have, in most ships, three meals a day. The gun- 


ner, carpenters, and sea-cunnies, from their not be- 
ing Mohammedans, have, in addition to the above 
articles, salt meat and biscuits ; and the gunner is 
often entirely supplied from the Captain's table. 
The Lascars, being prohibited by their religion from 
taking wine and spirits, the latter article is not 
regularly served out to them ; however, they have 
no objections to it in wet weather, as it is then con- 
sidered to be taken medicinally. From this we 
might suppose the Temperance Societies had bor- 
rowed a leaf from the Prophet's book ; indeed, the 
Koran contains more moral and religious sentiments 
than the world are apt to give it credit for. In 
many of their habits and evil propensities, 
they resemble English sailors, particularly the 
Calcutta Lascars : those from Bombay being 
generally more prudent ; from which circumstance, 
in addition to their being better seamen, and a 
stouter race of men, they are always preferred. 

The square-rigged vessels sailing out of Surat, 
Guzerat, and Gogah, forms the best nursery for 
Lascar seamen, from whence Bombay is amply 
supplied ; while those of Calcutta are from Chitta- 
gong, where there is not much trade, and, conse- 
quently, they have not the same advantages. 

Among the Lascar seamen there are a few Arabs, 
Indian-born Africans, Malays, and Manilla-men; 
the latter of whom have always borne the character 
of being treacherous, and several lamentable in- 
stances of the verification of this observation have 


occurred, which render great caution necessary 
wherever they are employed. A short time since, 
the gunner of the Ann, of Bombay, who was a 
Manilla-man, in whom great confidence was placed, 
from having been a long time in the same employ, 
formed a conspiracy, with the searcunnies, to take 
possession of the ship, intending to murder Captain 
Allan, and his officers, in which they nearly suc- 
ceeded ; and a few years previous to this, a very fine 
young man, Captain Langley, was murdered by two 
Malays ; in consequence of there being a great 
deal of treasure on board. Luckily they were 
discovered, condemned, and executed at Rangoon. 
A friend of mine said, on attending their trial he 
was not a little astonished to find that one of the 
culprits had sailed with him for two years, and of 
all the persons in his situation, he thought him the 
most trustworthy and inoffensive. 

Lascars are all more or less superstitious: the first 
thing they deem necessary on joining a ship is to 
make an offering of cocoa-nuts, the moment they 
put their foot on board ; for if they were not to 
perform this ceremony, they would imagine some 
misfortune would befall them, or at least that they 
would have a very unsuccessful voyage. Although 
(unlike English seamen) they have no objection 
to sail on a Friday, yet they think it quite 
necessary to their well-being that they should do so 
at a particular period of the moon's age. They 
are much alarmed at the appearance of meteors, 

160 a new: mode of exorcise, 

ascribing to them the cause of awful and terrible 
disasters. One of the most common of their 
superstitions is, to believe that his Satanic Majesty 
occasionally visits the ship. He is always described 
as a colossal figure, with fiery eyes, an enormous 
mouth, and claw-fingered. On these occasions 
they will not go below all night. A report is fre- 
quently spread that he is coming on deck, when 
they fly to the rigging for safety. A friend of mine 
had been annoyed by them several nights succes- 
sively in the above manner, when he at last gave 
out that he had come to the resolution of rewarding 
the clever fellow who should first see the deviL 
One of the men soon reported that he had done so, 
describing him as usuaL The captain, wishing to 
put a stop to the frequent annoyance these alarms 
created, ordered the man to be flogged for the 
great penetration he had displayed in the disco- 
very, and the devil was so displeased with 
what the captain had done, that he speedily disap- 
peared, and he heard no more of his visits. The 
songs and long stories they repeat at night are of a 
most diversified nature. In the same watch may 
be heard a love story, a hymn to Mohammed, an 
obscene ditty, and a rant in praise of some former 
ship or commander. 

The Hindostanee language is invariably spoken 
on board, unless in addressing the men at the helm 
and lead, when Portuguese is substituted. 

The Lascars, in all well regulated ships, are 


placed in watches, and stationed in the manner 
adopted in the Navy; and although they keep a 
regular watch day and night, they are all at an 
immediate call on the most trivial occasions. In 
India they are, from their habits and activity, in 
every respect preferable to European seamen, ex- 
cept in very cold weather ; but in rain they appear 
quite in their element. My friend says :— During 
the height of the s. w. monsoon, I have often 
known them to be wet and constantly on deck for 
days and nights together without once changing 
their clothes, and this without a single complaint, 
while the Europeans, who kept regular watches, 
were all laid up with cold and fever. Their well- 
known inability to bear much cold is fortunately 
provided for by regulations of the Honourable 
Company, rendering it imperative on the part of 
ship-owners engaging native crews for long voyages, 
to furnish them with warm 'clothing, and other 
comforts, as well as the means of returning to their 
native country. 

The high order and neatness of the country 
ships, as well as the manner in which they perform 
all their evolutions, has uniformly called forth the 
admiration of the naval officers on the Indian 
station. Native crews are engaged exclusively at 
Bombay and Calcutta, under an advance of from 
three to five months' wages, according to the pro- 
bable length of the voyage. The roguery to which 
they are subjected, by being at the mercy of Ghaut- 

4 m 


Serangs, and crimps, surpasses, if possible, the 
evils of the crimping system in this country. The 
ship's Serang is the agent on behalf of the vessel 
in dealing with those on shore, and so well do they 
generally play into each other's hands, that at the 
end of a long voyage the poor Lascars have seldom 
anything to receive. 

Tuesday, 14. — For want of a breeze we could 
not leave Whampoa till one, p. m. -In our way 
down the river we passed the H. C. ships Marquis 
of Huntly, Reliance, and London, which were 
lying below the second bar, to which anchorage 
they always proceed in order to take in the re- 
mainder of their cargoes. We anchored soon 
after sunset near Tiger Island, not being permitted 
to pass the forts at the Bogue after dark. I 
suffered severely this evening from an attack of 
spasmodic rheumatism. 

Wednesday, 15. — We got under weigh at seven 
o'clock, and passed the forts at the Bogue about an 
hour after, but so strong was the tide against us, 
that even with the aid of a fresh breeze we made 
but little progress. At half past one, p.m. we 
anchored off the s. w. side of the island of Lintin, 
where the foreign vessels engaged in the opium 
trade, remain stationary during the n. e. monsoon, 
taking care to shift their anchorage for the opposite 
side of the island after the s. w. monsoon has set 
in. At the changes of the monsoons, when they 
are apprehensive of typhoons, they repair to the 


more sheltered places of Cap-sing-moon, to the 
eastward of Lintin, or Kum-sing-moon, to the west- 
ward of that island. 

We found the following vessels lying at anchor ; 
the Merope, Parkyns; Saraarang, Grant; Jane, 
Crockett; Jamisena, Hector; the American ships 
Scattergood, Tartar, Lintin, Margaret Forbes, 
and Terrier, brigantine ; the Portuguese ship Don 
Manuel, and brig Letitia ; the Danish brig Dans- 
borg ; and French ship La Rose. 

When the opium ships first took up their station 
at Lintin, they found the inhabitants exceedingly 
averse to any intercourse with foreign vessels. 
After a little time, however, they perceived the 
advantages which a free communication held out to 
them, and their tone of aversion was soon changed 
to one of civility and friendship, so much so, that 1 
strangers may now traverse any part of the island' 
without molestation. 

The island of Lintin is five miles in circum- 
ference, and has a remarkably high peak in the 
centre. It contains several small villages, the' 
principal one of which is on the s. w. side. It was 
here that the collision took place in December 
1821, between the natives and the boat's crew of 
H. M. S. Topaze, when one Chinese was killed, 
and another died of his wounds. 

Every one is acquainted with the importance 
that the Chinese Government attach to the death 
of a subject of the " celestial empire," at the hands 


of a foreigner, whether it happens to be acci- 
dental, or intentional ; not that they are supposed 
to set any great value on human life, but for the 
purpose of keeping "unruly foreigners" in due 
subjection, or with a view of benefiting by their 

The gunner of the English ship, who was given 
up to the Chinese in 1784, has unfortunately 
served them for a precedent in all subsequent 
disputes, where loss of life has ensued, except 
when British men-of-war have been concerned; 
in which cases they have acted the usual farce of 
sending forth threatening edicts, &c. ; but finding 
their artillery of words fail in their intended effect, 
they have allowed the point in dispute to die away; 
and the Canton authorities have been reduced to 
the necessity of inventing some fictitious story, to 
enable them to Bend a false statement to the 
Emperor. The following circumstance will serve 
as an illustration of the above observations. 

" Some time ago, an affray occurred at Kum- 
sing-moon, in which a foreigner was deliberately 
murdered by three or four natives, who over- 
powered him in the affray; and, to conceal the 
murder, instead of burying the body, they cut it to 
pieces, carried it in a fishing-boat out to the roads, 
and cast it into the sea. This statement was ob- 
tained from their own confession : no remnant of 
the man was ever found. On the other side, a 
native was wounded in the posteriors with small 


shot; the parts mortified, and he died within 
twenty or thirty days. The local government 
caught the natives who murdered the foreigner; 
and they demanded that the foreigner, who fired 
the shot which wounded and caused the death of 
the native, should be found and delivered up to 
them. With this demand it was not practicable to 
comply. Week after week, they reiterated the 
order to have the ' foreign murderer/ as they 
called him, delivered up. At last, despairing of 
compliance, Government has connived at a Hong 
merchant,* a leader among that responsible body, 
having, for four or five hundred dollars, bribed 
some ignorant half-foreigner, about Macao, to per- 
sonate the foreign murderer, and have put this 
confession into his mouth, in order that his life 
may be safe, and he be banished from China, after 
the farce of trial and report to the Emperor shall 
be gone through. This is the purport of the con- 
fession, which the Chinese admire for its ingenuity : 
* The foreigner, who was killed at Kum -sing-moon, 

* The Chinese have a capital crime which they call ke-keun r 
* deceiving and insulting the sovereign.' The Hong merchant, who 
has acted in getting up the present farce, by buying the poor igno- 
rant foreigner, has once in his life- time been nearly frightened to 
death by a Canton Judge threatening to convict him of the crime of 
ke-keun. Should the present fraud be discovered by the Emperor, 
the farce now enacting may be tragical for the parties many years 
hence. Yet, to get over the present difficulty, they foolishly run this 


was my elder brother ; when I saw the natives 
murdering him, I ran up and stood forward to 
rescue him ; at which moment, a fowling-piece I 
had fastened on my back went off and shot the na- 
tive, who has since died. We two brothers were 
the only children of an old mother, who has now 
no one to take care of her. I beg for mercy, that 
I may return home and wait on my mother in her 
old age.' 

" These circumstances were intended to be kept 
secret from foreigners ; but common fame and some 
tell-tale divulged them. The foreigners protested 
to the Governor of Canton against an innocent 
man being thus implicated, although by his own 
ignorance and folly. The Governor has over and 
over again denied the man's innocence, but says 
the man has delivered himself up, in which there 
is some merit, and has confessed facts which will 
save his life, inasmuch as the deed was purely 
accidental— quite unintentional ; therefore, he will 
not be required to forfeit his life. All this the 
Governor, the Judge, the Kwang-chow-foo, and 
other Mandarins concerned, as well as the foreign 
and native public, know is perfectly untrue ; but 
with this fiction of law- they are proceeding, and 
have reported to Peking in substance as above, and 
are now waiting, with the man in confinement, 
for the Emperor's answer." 

The man was subsequently liberated unhurt. 

Tuesday, 16. — The American ship Washington 


arrived in Liritin Roads thiB morning, with the 
important intelligence of the death of our late 
King, George the Fourth! and the capture of 
Algiers by the French- 
After breakfast, Captain Gover, who is exten- 
sively engaged in the opium trade, invited Mr. Fort 
and myself to accompany him on a visit to some 
of the floating opium stores, which several of the 
vessels in this trade may justly be considered, as 
they remain in China all the year round to facili* 
tate the importation of this article, by receiving it 
from that class of vessels already spoken of, named 

I examined specimens of the drug, made up into 
cakes and baUs, and packed in cases ; however the 
smugglers generally remove it from the ships in 
bags, in which it is more easily conveyed to the 
junks outside the port, and also for subsequent 
transport by land. 

The importance of the opium trade must be evi- 
dent from the number of foreign vessels employed 
in it, -which carry on their illicit traffic in the most 
open and independent manner. In the first place, 
they bid defiance to all the Chinese authorities; 
and, instead of attending to the laws of China, they 
compel the Chinese to comply with their own re- 
gulations. Not a ball of opium is delivered until 
it has been previously paid for in cash, and the 
fear of their caiman balls effectually prevents the 
Chinese war-junks from interfering with them. 


Does not this justify the inference that, if a similar 
plan were adopted for carrying on any other branch 
of trade with the Chinese, it might be prosecuted 
with equal success? In fact, the Mandarins fre- 
quently intimated as much to Mr. Lindsay, when 
he visited the ports to the northward of Canton, in 
the ship Lord Amherst. 

It is evident we have nothing to apprehend from 
the naval force of China, as it appears that any 
well-armed foreign merchant-vessel may set a 
whole squadron of them at defiance, and it is clear 
that the native pirates can ravage the coasts when- 
ever they think proper ; indeed the local autho- 
rities of Canton cannot prevent acts of piracy 
being committed even within the precincts of the 
port. The following extract from a document 
under his Imperial Majesty's own hand-writing, 
will shew the opinion he entertains of his navy* 

" The Pekin Gazette of the 29th of October, 1833, 
contains a paper of six pages, concerning the navy 
of China, from the pen (or rather pencil) of his Im- 
perial Majesty, occasioned by the ineffectual at- 
tempts of the navy to put down piracy. He begins 
his paper by this first principle, that, according to 
the ancients, in the government of a nation, while 
civilians required rubbing up, the military no less 
required a brushing. c Government/ he says, * ap- 
points soldiers for the protection of the people ; and 
naval captains are not less important than dry-land 
soldiers. But the navy has lately fallen off, aa 


appears by many cases of failure on the high 

( On shore, a man's ability is measured by his 
archery, and his horsemanship; bat a sailor's talent 
by his ability to fight with, and on the water. A 
sailor must know the winds and the clouds, and the 
lands, and the lines, (or passages among the sands.) 
He must be thoroughly versed in the breaking a 
spear with, (or beating against) the wind. He must 
know, like a god, how to break through the billows, 
handle his ship, and be all in regular order for ac- 
tion. Then, when his spears are thrown, they will 
pierce, and his guns will follow to give them effect. 
The spitting tornadoes of the fire-physic (gun- 
powder) will all reach truly their mark ; and when- 
ever pirates are met with, they will be vanquished 
wonderously. No aim will miss its mark. The 
pirate banditti will be impoverished and crippled, 
and even on the high seas, when they take to 
flight, they will be followed, and caught, and 
slaughtered. Thus the monsters of the deep, and 
the waves will be still, and the sea become a per- 
fect calm, not a ripple will be raised. 

' But, far different firom this, have of late been 
the fact. The navy is a nihility. There is the name 
of going to sea, but there is no going to sea in 
reality. Cases of piracy are perpetually occurring, 
and even barbarian barks anchor in oar inner seas, 
without the least notice being taken of them !' and 
so forth. 


"After advising and threatening his naval 
servants, the Emperor adds, 'do not hereafter 
say, that you were not early warned.' " 

As Capt. Parkyns was not prepared to accompany 
ns, about noon Capt Gover, Mr. Fox, and myself, 
went on board the packet-boat schooner, Flora,* 
belonging to Messrs. Dent and Co. and landed at 
Macao at four o'clock, having passed in the roads 
the French corvette La Favorite, and the Bengal 
ship Sherbourne : the latter had just completed the 
repairs consequent on the loss of her masts in the 
typhoon, on the morning of the 30th September. 

Mr. Matheson having kindly offered me accom- 
modation in his house, I accordingly proceeded 
thither, but was obliged to be carried, in consequence 
of suffering very acutely from rheumatism. I for- 
tunately found that Dr. Hardie, of the Bengal 
army, occupied apartments in the same house, 
which was provided with a hot bath, and every other 
necessary convenience. Among my visitors was Mr. 
Pearson, surgeon of the Factory, who most oblig- 
ingly volunteered his medical services, and favoured 
me with every kind attention that friendship could 
suggest. Although the cold weather had but re- 
cently set in, and I had experienced but little of its 
effects, I perceived that the least exposure was suf- 
ficient to bring on a return of my old complaint. 
This was only the second time since I left England, 

* This schooner is about 70 tons, and was formerly Sir James 
Urmston's yacht. 


that I had felt a degree of cold at all approaching 
the freezing point ; and yet, on each occasion, the 
susceptibility of my system to that painful disease, 
was too fully testified. I continued much indis- 
posed, and confined tQ my room, until Sunday^ 
the 19th, when Captain Parkyns called, and an- 
nounced his intention of sailing on the following 
morning, and that I must hold myself in readiness 
to embark with him in the afternoon. I was there- 
fore obliged to leave a comfortable residence to 
endure the discomforts of a ship. At four o'clock, 
I proceeded in a Chinese sedan-chair to the place of 
embarkation, from which a fast boat conveyed us 
to the Merope, in the Macao roads. Captain Par- 
kyns informed me, that all negociation respecting 
the passage of Sir James and Lady Home, to Swan 
River, had ceased ; and he consequently could not 
think of visiting that colony, but proceed to Van 
Diemen's Land, via the Straits of Sunda, without 
calling at any port. 

A residence in China, circumstanced as foreigners 
are, restrained in their intercourse and limited in 
their own circle, may be naturally supposed to be 
very monotonous, and possessing few inducements 
to a visitor, in the shape of variety ; so occupied, how- 
ever, was I, during my stay, in acquiring information 
at every attainable source which could be depended 
upon, that I not only found my time pleasingly 
diversified, but disposed of in a way that afforded 
me peculiar gratification, under the deprivation 

172 lord napier's arrival at canton. 

which I suffer. Since my departure from China 
many circumstances have arisen to vary the nature 
of British intercourse with the natives, but none of 
such importance as the abolition of the East India 
Company's charter, and the arrival of Lord Napier 
in Canton as Chief of the new authorities. An 
edict was published in January, 1831, by the 
Governor of Canton, stating " that in case of the 
dissolution of the Company, it was incumbent on 
the British Government to appoint a Chief to come 
to Canton for the general management of com- 
mercial dealings." In accordance with this edict, 
Lord Napier was appointed, and was directed on 
his arrival to report himself by letter. His right 
to proceed to Canton, however, was disputed, 
without an express permit, though European boats 
have, for years past, been allowed to go to the provin- 
cial city without any necessity for such a document. 
But the Governor, by whatever feelings he may 
have been actuated, was determined in heaping 
every indignity on the head of the representative 
of the British Government. His letter, which he 
transmitted to the Governor the day after he 
reached Canton, was rejected because it was not a 
petition, but couched, with singular audacity, in 
terms of equality with the officers of the " central 
flowery land." He was denounced as a " barbarian 
eye," and "English devil/' and the fact of his 
reaching Canton at midnight was construed into 
a "clandestine stealing into the city;" while at 


the same time he was commanded "when the 
commercial business which he had come to enquire 
into was finished, to return immediately to Macao/' 
His " disobedience" was followed by the stoppage 
of the trade on the 16th of August. The Governor, 
who was influenced in a great measure by the Hong 
merchants, seems to have doubted or affected to 
doubt the intentions of Lord Napier when he styled 
him a " war commander," and the natural timidity 
of the Chinese, concealed under their pompous 
style, will most probably account, in some degree, 
for the proceedings which followed his arrival. 
This treatment induced Lord Napier to publish in 
Chinese an " Official Document exhibiting the pre- 
sent state of the relations between China and 
Great Britain," The Governor, however, had 
gone too far to recede, and a new edict immediately 
followed, denouncing as traitors all natives wha 
held any communication with "the barbarians." 
Finding the suspension of the trade of serious 
injuiy to the British interests, Lord Napier issued 
an order on the 5th of September for H. M. S. 
Imogene and Andromache to pass the Bogue and 
afford that protection which was rendered neces- 
sary. The following is an account of their 
progress and its results : 

Soon after noon on Sunday, the 7th of Septem- 
ber, 1834, the frigates got under weigh, with a 
light breeze from the westward, when the forts and 
junks in Anson's Bay commenced firing their guns. 


vith blank cartridges. A few minutes before one, 
the fort at Taikawktow fired a shot, and two fol- 
lowed from the fort in Anson's Bay. At lh. 16m. 
the fort on Wang-tong Island fired three shots, 
which were returned by the Imogene, who was 
standing towards it. The Andromache was then 
on the opposite tack. At lb. 35m. the firing 
commenced from both ships, on the new fort on 
Anunghoy, and the Wang-tong fort. Soon after 
2 a few shots were fired from Tiger Island. At 
a quarter past 2 all firing ceased, and the ships 
anchored just below Tiger Island, where they 
continued all the following day, from the wind 
being very light and variable. # 

On Tuesday, at 2h. 11m. p. m. the frigates got 
under weigh to proceed up the river, with a light 
breeze from the southward, when a shot was fired 
from the Wang-tong fort and the new one on 
Anunghoy. A few minutes after this, the fort on 
Tiger Island opened its fire on the ships, when a 
general firing commenced. At 2h. 45m. the forts 
ceased firing, and in ten minutes after, the frigates 
also discontinued, not however before they had 
completely accomplished their object of forcing 

* Mr. W.J. Huggins, marine painter to hit Majesty, having taken 
several views of the Bocca Tigris, when in China, most obligingly 
favoured me with the drawing for the accompanying plate, in which 
he has introduced the two British frigates forcing the passage of 
the Bogue. I am also indebted to Mr. Huggins for several origin*! 
sketches which -embellish the different volumes of this work. 



r- ^. 


the passage of the Bocca Tigris, for at 4 p. m. 
they anchored just below Second Bar Creek. 

On the following day they advanced five miles 
farther up the river, and on the evening of 
Thursday, the 11th, they anchored at Whampoa. 

On Friday the 12<A, overtures of accommodation 
were made by the Chinese, but were withdrawn in 
a few hours ; which retraction is supposed to have 
been occasioned by their coming to the knowledge 
of the dangerous state of Lord Napier's health, and 
of his consequent determination to leave Canton. 
This he expressed in a letter, dated the 14th, to 
Mr. Boyd, Secretary to the Chamber of Commerce, 
in which he states that his intention was fixed, 
as the Hoppo had declared the trade should be re- 
opened on his departure. The next day his Lord- 
ship wrote to the British merchants to acquaint 
them that he did not any longer consider it ex-' 
pedient to persist in a course by which they were 
made to suffer, and informed them that he had 
written to Mr. Boyd, requesting to be supplied 
with the means of retiring, in order to admit of the 
opening of the trade. He further stated, that when 
he considered the subject in dispute was not of a 
commercial nature, but that it related entirely to 
himself; and that he had used every effort to carry 
his Majesty's instructions into effect without 
success, he did not feel himself any longer autho- 
rized to call on their forbearance. The departure of 
his Lordship for Macao, and its melancholy result, • 


are too well known to the public to require any 
further continuation of the narrative ; but, perhaps, 
it may afford an useful illustration of the insolence 
of the Chinese authorities, and their impudent 
bravado, if I add, that an edict was issued by the 
Emperor, when he received the report of the 
Governor (in which all these circumstances were 
detailed in a most distorted manner, and in a 
style at once false and exaggerated), ordering that 
part of the honours which the Governor and his 
officers had been deprived of for their previous neg- 
lect, should now be restored to them for the course 
they had taken, but particularly for " having driven 
the barbarian eye (Lord Napier), and others, out 
of the port." 

Before I finally take my leave of China, I will 
devote a few chapters to a review of the character 
and manners of the people, founding my opinions 
upon the information I collected while I was on the 
spot, and upon such documentary and other evi- 
dence as I have been able to obtain in China and 
elsewhere. I can answer with perfect confidence 
for the truth of my statements. The opportunities I 
possessed for testing their credibility, were such as 
do not often occur to travellers, for I had the good 
fortune not only to be in the midst of the English 
intercourse with the natives, but to have been at 
Canton at a period of more than ordinary interest 
and excitement. The character of the Chinese is, I 
believe, almost as little known in Europe as their 


history; at all events, it is not known very ac- 
curately. The succeeding summary may, there- 
fore, be regarded as developing information in 
some measure novel, and I trust usefuL I have 
also ventured, in addition, upon a brief sketch of the 
Chinese history, as an appropriate conclusion to 
my researched in that country. I claim for this 
sketch no further merit than that of giving, in a 
small compass, the prominent facts from the earliest 
time of their authentic records, and of weeding 
from the narrative all those absurd and fabulous 
legends with which it has been the delight of 
previous writers to overload it I hope that this 
may prove acceptable, as a contribution to our his* 
torical knowledge, that was felt to be wanted ; and 
if it be found to furnish a clear, although brief 
review of the annals of a nation, hitherto obscured 
in clouds of speculation, I shall not consider that 
my labour has been misapplied. 



Manners and Customs—Festivals and their Abuses— Distinctions 
conferred by the Emperor — Modes of Salutation— Honours and 
Rewards paid to the Aged— Characteristics of Happiness and 
Misery — Rules of Regimen — Popular Superstitions — Vaccination 
— Badges of Civil and Military Ranks— A Dexterous Rogue- 
Raffles and lotteries — Installation of the Hoppo — Constant 
Followers — Canton Bankers — Chinese Coin — Mountaineer 

The manners and customs of the Chinese are, in 
a great measure, in consequence of their jealousy of 
other nations, peculiar to themselves ; and yet they 
are in possession of many habits, which would seem 
to have been adopted, by a general instinct, among 
all civilized nations. The observance of the new 
year* is the most important of their festivals: on 
this occasion, both rich and poor, the people and 
their rulers, indulge in a universal cessation from 
business, and search after pleasure. By an order 
of the Court, the business of Government is closed 
on the 20th of the twelfth moon ; and not resumed, 
except in particular cases, till the 20th of the first 
moon : a release of thirty days is thus given to the 
various functionaries, and the feasting and amuse- 
ments of the people are maintained for nearly the 
same period, according to the nature or necessity of 

* The Chinese make their new year commence on the new moony 

nearest to the time when the sun's place is in the 15th degree of 


their respective occupations. ' Before the close of 
the old year, they perform several domestic rites, 
such as sweeping clean the furnace and hearth, in 
honour of their household gods. On new year's 
eve, they bathe in warm water, perfumed with the 
leaves of the Wong-pe and Pumelo trees, and arise 
at midnight, clad in their most costly dresses, to 
kneel down towards Heaven, and perform the im- 
perial ceremony of knocking the head on the ground 
three times. Then they join in general illumina- 
tions, and pray to their several domestic idols, or 
visit those in the neighbouring temples. They burn 
incense, gilt and silver papers, let off fireworks, and 
repeat at intervals their adorations. Having con- 
cluded these religious ceremonies, they commence 
at daylight the civilities of visiting their relatives 
and friends, with whom they indulge in mutual 
congratulations on the birth of the new year. The 
final day of the old year is also, however, the occa- 
sion on which transactions of a very opposite nature 
take place : it is the general pay day> and conse- 
quently presents a scene of turbulence and confu- 
sion, caused by the disputes of eager creditors and 
moneyless debtors, whose inability exposes them to 
attack and insult — the creditors are, at times, so 
bent on annoyance, that they amuse themselves in 
the wholesale destruction of household furniture, &c. 
After the expiration of the old year, the inhabitants 
give themselves up to feasting and dissipation for 
several weeks, and continue their carousing accord- 


ing to the means which each may possess. Similar 
observances are followed at the new and full moon, 
but especially on the occasions of the first and 
second new moons in each year ; general sacrifices 
and burnt-offerings are made to the idols, which 
are also presented with cups of tea: libations of wine 
or spirits are poured out ; prayers are offered in th* 
manner already described, and presents made by 
parents and superiors. The officers of Govern 
ment repair before break of day to some neighbour 
ing temple, where they offer incense. 

Another ceremony, universally observed by the 
Chinese, is that of the Tsing-mvng, which com 
mences generally about the 5th of April, and may 
be held upon any day within a month from its com- 
mencement : the inhabitants of all classes repair to 
the hills, or tumuli of their ancestors, to sacrifice to 
their manes, and cleanse and decorate their tombs. 
Upon these occasions, all the kindred of the deceased 
proceed together, supplied with abundance of fruits, 
cakes, and wine : they erect tents upon the hills, and 
go through the various forms of worship and prayer 
which they use to their idols. The following is the 
tenor of the prayer which they generally repeat : 
" We, a multitude of children, grandchildren, and 
other descendants, now, [on such a day,] have come 
hither to worship at our ancestors' tumuli. We 
pray that, by the protection of our ancestors, we 
may become prosperous ; and that their descen- 
dants may have constant support." The fear lest 


be should be without posterity to do him these 
posthumous honours is a source of great uneasiness 
to a Chinaman, and they are considered so neces- 
sary to the peace of the departed, that benevolent 
individuals frequently perform these rites, at graves, 
which would otherwise be deserted, either through 
the failure or the absence of the kindred of the 
deceased. In Java, and other places, societies are 
instituted for these charitable though superstitious 
purposes. It is not unusual with the Chinese to 
remove the remains of their ancestors to some other 
burial ground, from the belief that that in which 
they were already deposited was unlucky: they 
destroy the old coffin, and wrapping the bones in 
paper, place them in an urn. The rich are accus- 
tomed to go to great expense in purchasing their 
own coffins, or rather slabs of timber with which 
they are manufactured. They preserve these in 
their houses to dry, and keep them, not as a memento 
of the frailty of life, but in the supposition that 
their possession is the means of prolonging their 
existence. Corpses are not permitted to enter the 
gates of Peking without an imperial order, in con- 
sequence of a rebel having at one time adopted the 
singular expedient of personating one, to have himself 
conveyed into the city. In all other towns in China, 
there is an express interdiction against their entry 
through the southern gate, because the face of the 
Emperor, when he is seated on his throne, is turned 
towards the South. On the death of any person of 


rank or consequence, it is usual for the people to 
perform funeral ceremonies, and offer sacrifices to 
his manes, numberless sheep and pigs being 
slaughtered for that purpose. It is, also, the 
practice on the part of the nearest of kin, to 
make the people a suitable return, and which 
generally amounts to double the expenditure. 
The eldest son of the principal Hong merchant at 
Canton died there a few years back, and the whole 
city turned out to do him honour : the usual animal 
offerings were made and subsequently eaten, and 
large quantities of liquor were, of course, used to 
wash down the feast : it is supposed that the ex- 
penses incurred by his father were, at least, from 
fifty to a hundred thousand dollars. The Govern- 
ment allows portions of waste land in the vicinity 
of towns, to be appropriated by the poor for burial* 
grounds : but even here, in the sanctuaries of the 
dead, the votaries of extortion have taken their 
stand : fellows, entitled grave-dogs, make a practice 
of opposing the interment until their acquiescence 
has been purchased by a fee. The magistrates, in 
endeavouring to suppress these usurpers of the 
tombs, have ordered that the claims of individuals 
to such burying- places shall not be considered 
valid, without the production of written deeds 
entitling them thereto. On the death of a parent 
in China, the holder of an official situation is 
obliged, by law, to relinquish it for three years, 
during which time of mourning he is incapacitated 


to resume it. The period for which a Tartar 
officer is disqualified by such an event is limited 
to one hundred days: These usages are a constant 
source of promotion, being similar in effect to those 
observed with regard to Fellows in the English 
Colleges, on occasion of their marriage. In the 
month of September an annual examination for 
official appointments takes place at Canton, and 
creates as much bustle and excitement as a general 
election in the United Kingdom: the candidates 
have similar personal privileges to those of our 
Members of Parliament. Numerous individuals 
are employed to write essays for those candidates 
who are incapable of writing themselves ; but the - 
magistrates do not fail to denounce and punish 
such deception. The attorneys do not lose this 
opportunity of pursuing their trade, but frequently 
obtain money from the aspirants, by threatening to 
oblige them to attend as witnesses in prosecutions. 
The Tung-che, or winter solstice, is the occasion 
of another popular festival of the Chinese ; it is 
observed on the twenty-second of December, or 
the sixteenth day of the eleventh moon. The 
grateful acknowledgment of the returning sun is 
the influence which inspires the observance. All 
the officers of the principal towns, whether Tartar 
or Chinese, civil or military, repair with great 
solemnity at day break to the Imperial Hall, en- 
titled Wan Shaw King, or "the Pavilion of ten 
thousand years." There the usual ceremony is per- 


formed, of kneeling three times, and bowing the 
head twice to the earth on each genuflexion. The 
forma of worship are gone through, as already 
described, and provisions of various kinds are 
prepared and offered up by the inhabitants on 
their domestic altars, as sacrifices to the reputed 
shades of their ancestors. On the conclusion of 
this religious rite, which is by some observed in 
the morning, by others in the evening, the eatables 
are converted to a more reasonable use, and fur- 
nish an abundant feast, of which relations, friends, 
and neighbours are invited to partake. In schools, 
boys assemble to worship Confucius, whose name, 
or presumed likeness, is placed behind the altar: 
they also enact the obeisance of bowing the head 
to their schoolmaster, who is requested to be seated 
whilst they pay him that honour: he generally 
stands, however, not being, perhaps, ambitious of 
sharing the homage which is paid to the prophet. 
The Christmas-day of European nations is consi- 
dered by the Chinese as a similar term to their 
solstitial festival. The natives of China have a 
custom, peculiar to themselves, of paying their 
visits before breakfast ; and the different functiona- 
ries make their official engagements at the same 
unseasonable hour. 

Some idea may be formed of the despotism of the 
Chinese Emperors, from the fact, that his present 
Majesty was pleased to extend a particular mark of 
favour to his younger brother, King7i*ft*»fet»,in per- 


mitting bim to " walk within the precincts of the 
inner Palace/' H« also, as a peculiar act of grace/ 
allowed his uncle, when he attained the venerable 
age of eighty-four, to appear in his presence without 
kneeling. An ambassador from Corea met with a 
most flattering reception from the Emperor, at whose 
hands he received certain talismanic tablets, on which 
the words Prosperity and Longevity were written by 
the monarch himself; these cheap rewards are, not- 
withstanding, held in great consideration. The 
Foo-yun, or Deputy Governor, of Canton, was 
presented with the word Happiness in a similar 
manner, accompanied, however, by the more sub- 
stantial present of a haunch of venison. The gates 
of the Public Hall were thrown open to receive it, 
and the usual head-knocking ceremony was per- 
formed, in acknowledgment of the great condescen- 
sion shewn by a Prince whose dominion extends 
over, at least, 300 millions of subjects, Hwang- 
tseen, an old servant of the Government, who bad 
reached his eightieth year in the Imperial service, 
addressed a letter of thanks to his Majesty, in 
which he bestowed upon him all the attributes of 
a Deity : the reply which was returned was, a Che- 
taou-leaou," which signifies, " I know it." The 
answer was accompanied by substantial proofs of 
consideration on the part of his Majesty. 

When the Emperor passes through the streets of 
Peking, the route which he takes is hung on each 
side with curtains and tapestry to prevent indivi- 


duals of low rank from rudely gazing on the 
" Representative of Heaven," or, perhaps, having 
the audacity to approach his per? on. Should he 
travel from one part of the Celestial Empire to 
another, the greatest care is taken to keep the 
lower orders at a respectful distance, though indi- 
viduals of peculiar daring do, sometimes, take the 
opportunity of appealing to his Majesty, against 
the oppression for which they have been unable to 
obtain any redress from a lower authority. The 
success which may attend such appeals is, however, 
doubtful, and the probability is that the petitioner 
will only expose himself to severe punishment for 
his presumption. 

The following are the grades of salutation and 
homage used by the Chinese : — 

" The lowest form by which respect is showed in 
China at this day is Kong-show, that is, joining the 
hands and raising them before the breast. The 
next is Tso-yih, that is bowing low with the hands 
joined. The third is Ta-tseen, bending the knee, 
as if about to kneel. The fourth is Kwei, to kneel. 
The fifth hKow-tow, kneeling, and striking the head 
against the ground. The sixth San-kow, striking 
the head three times against the earth before rising 
from one's knees. The seventh Luh-kow, that is 
kneeling, and striking the forehead three times, 
rising on one's feet, kneeling down again, and 
striking the head again three times against the 
earth. The climax is closed by San-kwei-kew-kow, 


kneeling three different times, and at each time 
knocking the head thrice against the ground. 
Some of the gods of China are entitled only to 
the San-kow, others to the Jjuh-kow ; the Teen 
(heaven) and the Emperor are worshipped with 
the San-hoei-kew-kow. Does the Emperor of China 
claim divine honours?" 

Age, which, among many eastern nations, entails 
upon its possessors the most barbarous and fatal 
treatment, ensures to them in China not only 
general and deep respect, but the patronage of 
the highest authorities. The Emperors have 
been accustomed to take them under their peculiar 
protection. Kang-he caused a law to be issued, 
by which the name of every widow in the 
Empire who had reached her hundredth year with- 
out entering into a second marriage, should be 
reported to him, that he might confer upon her the 
sum of thirty taels for the erection of an " Honorary 
Gateway," with an inscription over it, of "The 
Door of Chaste Longevity." The sum of ninety 
taels was given by his successor, Yung-ching, to a 
man who had reached his hundred and eighteenth 
year, and an enactment was made by the same 
Emperor, by which the Imperial gift of thirty 
taels would be increased one fold for every ten 
years in addition to the hundred. In the reign of 
Kien-lung, a man whose name wasTang-yun-shang, 
and whose years were no less than one hundred 
and thirty, was presented with one hundred and 


twenty taels and some pieces of silk, and a promise 
was given of thirty additional taels in case he 
lived ten years longer. This individual was asked, 
one day, what medicine he had used to lengthen 
his existence. He replied, that he had never 
taken medicine in all his life, but attributed his 
longevity to his plentiful consumption of rice, and 
indulgence in sleep. 

The last mentioned monarch, at the age of eighty, 
was the founder of five generations, from himself to 
his great-great-grandson, who was eight years old. 
To the latter he presented an imperial yellow vest — 
" Remembering, as I do/' said he, " that when I 
attended my grandfather, I shot and hit five times 
successively, which induced his heavenly expres- 
sion of approbation, and my mother's countenance 
likewise brightened up with joy. Then I was 
twelve years of age, and my Imperial grandfather be* 
stowed upon me a yellow vest." He ordered all simi- 
lar instances of five living generations in one family, 
to be reported to him, that he might present the 
father with 60 taels. Of those who retained in their 
own houses so many lineal descendants, the majo- 
rity had reached the age of 100 ; but one instance 
was found of a man whose age was only 78. The 
Emperor Kea-King limited the donation to those 
who had seen eight generations. On one occasion, 
the husband had reached the age of 100, and his 
wife surpassed him by one year; the Emperor 
"bestowed upon them 20 pieces of silk, 20 taels, and 


tablets two inscribed — " Felicitous Persons of a glo- 
rious Dynasty:" he was, also, pleased to compose 
odes, suggested by the occasion. 

The following are the Chinese characteristics of 
a man of a happy temperament ; — " Contentment 
— Constant ease and pleasure in his own mind — 
Treating every one, whether high or low, with hu- 
mility and complaisance— Not usurping a benefit, 
but yielding a convenience or advantage to an- 
other — Not meddling with many affairs — When 
speaking to others, never crying about his own 
poverty, nor telling his own distresses." 

On the contrary, those, whose habits are calcu- 
lated to ensure them poverty and wretchedness, are 
thus distinguished : — " Going to bed early and 
getting up late — Having a field and a garden, and 
never attending to them — Wasting provisions — 
Making a great many fine things — Feeding idle 
people-*— Subscribing largely to religious processions, 
and dramatic performances, i.e. giving largely to the 
church and the playhouse — Fond of lounging and 
idling about — Being over parsimonious — Buying 
antiques and useless curiosities — Fond of making 
alterations — Taking pleasure in changes of resi- 
dence — Imitating the external show of rich people 
— Ambitious of high and noble acquaintances — 
Giving large marriage portions ^to daughters — 
Frequent fires and robberies occasioned by care- 
lessness — Fond of laying out gardens and building 
pavilions — Associating with Mandarins — Indeci- 


sion and believing every cheat — Teaching boys for 
thestage — Spending time with gamesters — Brothers 
and sisters constantly quarrelling — Living at great 
expense — Making it a constant study to please 
the appetite — However stupid, being pleased with 

Pamphlets have occasionally been published on 
the subject of diet, imparting many important hints 
for its proper regulation, which the excesses of the 
inhabitants prove to be far from unnecessary. I 
have extracted some observations from one of them, 
which will give some idea of the order usually ob- 
served in eating. 

" If you are very hungry before eating, don't 
eat to satiety ; if you are very thirsty before drink- 
ing, don't drink much. 

" Let the morning meal be tsaou, the noon meal 
be paou, and the evening meal be shaou, i. e. the 
first early y die second hearty y and the last spare. 
Immediately after eating, to indulge in anger, is 
very injurious. These are general rules and im- 
portant principles of regimen. As to the order of 
eating, begin by drinking a mouthful or two of tea ; 
then take two or three mouthfuls of plain rice ; after 
which you may add the vegetables and rich dishes. 
Generally speaking, you should take abundance of 
rice, and but little meat, greens, and rich messes. 
In eating you should rather be before than after 
the time ; and should eat leisurely ; not in a coarse 
hurried manner. You should stop eating at eight 


or nine tenths of being full. Your food should be 
rather plain than rich ; rather ^rarm than cold. 
Your food should be soft and over done ; not hard 
and under done. 

" After eating, drink two or three mouthfuls of 
tea. Rinse your mouth and wash your teeth very 
clean ; do not use a stiff horse-tail tooth brush ; but 
a soft hair brush with warm water. Rise and walk 
leisurely a few scores, or a hundred paces. These 
are important rules for eating, 

" After having eaten heartily, you should not soon 
lie down ; nor get into a passion ; nor sit stupidly ; 
nor yet skip about. These prohibitions are care- 
fully to be obeyed after eating. Anger, before eat- 
ing, is as injurious as after eating. It deranges the 
digestive powers." 

The various provinces of China are bound to for- 
ward annually to Pekin, stated sums for the pur- 
chase of rice, for the use of the Criminal Board, 
and the governors are enjoined to secure its regular 

That the superstitions of the Chinese should have 
clung to them during the period of time they have 
existed as a nation, is certainly a matter of astonish- 
ment; but our wonder ceases as we become ac- 
quainted with the ignorance and weakness which 
characterise throughout even their most influential 
and leading men, and which may be easily traced 
to the same source — their foolish antipathy to a free 
intercourse with all other nations. This antipathy is 


caused, in some measure, by the pride, but, in a 
greater degree, by the timidity of their disposition. 
Shut up, thus, among themselves, and depressed by 
the darkness of ignorance and idolatrous practices, 
it can scarcely excite our surprise that their intel- 
lectual powers should have advanced as slowly as 
their cultivation of knowledge. The belief in good 
and bad fortune is very prevalent among them ; 
they do not attribute either, however, to any super- 
natural influence; but consider the position of their 
doors and windows, the site of their houses, or 
family graves, as the presiding cause. This notion 
is entertained by all classes without distinction : a 
merchant, whose extravagance and inattention to 
business, had nearly ruined his affairs, applied, on 
one occasion, to the Geomancers for their advice, 
as to the means of improving his circumstances ; 
he removed, in compliance with their suggestions, 
his counting-house doors to the opposite side, and 
has since been anxiously and confidently awaiting 
the prosperity which this change is expected to 
procure him. Upon the occurrence of an eclipse 
of the sun, in 1832, his Excellency, the Lieutenant 
Governor of Canton, went into mourning, and per- 
formed many humiliating acts in deprecation of the 
awful calamities which he supposed would follow 
thai event, with the natural causes of which he was 
quite as unacquainted as the lowest of his country- 
men. In the erection of a breakwater, at the 
mouth of the Yang-tsze-Keang, the works were 


threatened with total destruction by a strong 
easterly wind, which caused the rapid influx of 
the tide : prayers and sacrifices were immediately 
offered to the manes of Chow-chung-hung, who had 
been drowned, about a hundred years before, whilst 
building a pier near the same spot : on the conclu- 
sion of the ceremony, the wind suddenly abated, 
and the danger, so generally dreaded, was at an 
end. They did not fail to attribute to the benevo- 
lence of Chow-chung-hung, this miraculous escape, 
and his deification was consequently requested of 
the Emperor, who caused a temple to be erected 
to him, that he might participate in the annual 
offerings made to the gods. 

Vaccination was first introduced into China by 
Mr. Pearson, in the year 1810, and A-he-qua, the 
Comprador to the E. I. Company, was the first 
native who submitted to the operation. In 1816, 
he produced a Chinese pamphlet on the subject, in 
which he endeavoured to disseminate its use among 
his countrymen. He was not candid enough to 
state the name, or nation. of the discoverer, but 
arrogated to China a prior acquaintance with it ; 
as a proof of which he asserts, that the principle of 
its communication by the fly, which fastens on the 
cow, may be found in the Chinese work, entitled 
Pih-tsaou Hang-muh. The fly, alluded to, sucks the 
blood of the cow till it drops off from repletion : the 
mode by which the blood is inserted when thus ob- ' 
tained, is not very clearly described. He further 
4 o 


tates,that, the method of inviting the disease, by re- 
ceiving the matter into the nostril, was introduced in 
the 11th century, under the Sung dynasty, on whom 
he lavishes numberless thanksgivings for originating 
so beneficial a discovery. This Ahe, nicknamed 
Longhead, has derived considerable advantages of 
rank and profit from the use of vaccination. The 
officers in Canton vied with each other in confer- 
ring obligations on him equal to his services ; one 
presented him with a gold button ; another with a 
tablet, on which he inscribed the motto, or rather 
wish, of the ancients — " A cure without medicine ;" 
while a third rewarded him with a sonnet, which he 
composed in his praise. 

The civil officers in China wear badges of birds 
on their breasts : there are ten distinct sorts in use, 
such as the peacock, the crane, &c. ; one being 
worn by each of the nine classes, and the tenth ap- 
propriated to the We-jah-lun, or non-commis- 
sioned officers, who do not hold any decided rank, 
in consequence of their belonging to the plebeian 
part of the community. 

It may be as well to observe, that the Tartar 
Conquerors, when they dictated to the Chinese 
the tonsure, and the long tail, altered also the 
dress of the people ; especially the cap, which is 
perfectly different from any cap previously worn 
in China. The summer and the winter dress caps 
differ, but they both agree in being of a low conical 
shape, and having a round knob at the vertex, 


which knob, by its material and colour, always 
shews the rank of the wearer. 

The first and second degrees of rank are marked 
by a red precious stone, or coral knob, or button. 

The third and fourth degrees of rank are denoted 
by a blue button. 

The fifth degree is shewn by a chryttal button. 

The sixth and seventh degrees are shewn by an 
opaque white, or milk-coloured button* 

The eighth and ninth degrees are shewn by & gold, 
or gilt button. 

The lowest degree should be «foer,but it is never 

The badges worn by the military, are represen- 
tations of beasts, and are six in number ; one of 
them, the Ke-lin, is a species, which has not been 
known to exist since the time of Confucius. When 
troops are sent to the stations on the frontier be* 
yond Cashgar, the singular expedient is adopted of 
permitting the inferior officers to wear the button 
and feather of a higher rank, in order to make a 
move imposing effect on the barbarians of those 
districts; it is supposed that the English, at the 
Gooilla frontier, have been deceived in a similar 
manner. Care is taken, however, on the return of 
such individuals, to deprive them of the ornaments 
in question. On the occasion of a review in Canton, 
the private soldiers receive a donation of copper 
coin ; the officers are rewarded with pieces of silk -; 
and silver n^dalg, accompanied by promises of 


early promotion, are given to those whose expert- 
ness brings them into particular notice. Those, on 
the contrary, who are remarkable for awkwardness, 
or the lack of bodily strength, are degraded and 
publicly disgraced. There are several military 
schools, in which the sons of rich men, who are in- 
tended for the army, are drilled in the different 
exercises. In one of these, the dexterity of a Chinese 
rogue was put into practice, a few years ago, at the 
cost of some of the young cadets of the establish- 
ment. A man, who had just entered, related a 
surprising story of a fellow who went about the 
city, and robbed the very clothes off the backs of 
the people. The youths enquired with eagerness, 
how he managed to succeed in such an attempt; 
and their informant immediately proceeded to 
gratify their curiosity. He clothed himself from 
head to foot in their upper garments, which they 
liad thrown off whilst practising their exercises, then 
played a few occasional tricks, and to enforce the 
felonious plan more clearly, walked out at the door 
and locked it after him. They waited for his return 
with great patience ; but, as he did not make his 
appearance again, they found themselves the dupes 
of his artifice. 

Among a people so addicted to gambling as the 
Chinese, the passion for raffles and lotteries, is, it 
may naturally be supposed, very general. Raffles 
are the common resource of traders, who wish to 
dispose of a commodity, whose quality is not likely 


to attract a ready purchaser. They are conducted on 
the same principle as in England, with the exception 
of using six dice. The property of a father, when 
there is any difficulty in ascertaining its exact 
value, is divided among his sons by lot. A public 
system of lottery is also in existence, though not 
sanctioned by Government. The keepers of the 
different stands are enabled to maintain them by 
bribing the police. The plan of the lottery is this : 
ten thousand tickets are issued at the rate of three 
cash each. Eighty characters are inscribed on the 
tickets. The purchaser selects ten of these cha- 
racters : on the day of drawing, the lottery-keeper 
takes the eighty characters on separate slips of 
paper, and having well shaken them, divides them 
into four heaps. He then destroys three heaps, or 
sixty characters, leaving twenty to be drawn. If the 
characters of the purchaser resemble any of the 
twenty drawn, he is entitled to a prize in propor- 
tion to the number similar; and provided he has Jive 
characters like those that are drawn, there is a 
possibility of the three cash realizing upwards of a 
hundred dollars. Such is the spirit of gambling 
which this lottery infuses among the people, that 
they not unfrequently sell their clothes, and even 
their" musquito curtains," to enable them to pur- 
chase tickets. 

The following are the formalities observed by 
the Hoppo, or Commissioner of Duties, on the 
occasion of his assuming the seals of office. He 


appears in court dress at the gate of his office, and 
goes through the ceremony of kneeling and knock- 
ing his head before the altar of a divinity placed 
there for that purpose. The usual offerings of 
incense, gilt-papers, candles and crackers, are 
made. He repeats the devotions at the second 
door leading to the great hall. When he has 
reached the latter, his secretaries, clerks, and de- 
pendants range themselves in two divisions, and 
call upon him to use his seal, which his keeper is 
immediately ordered to do, applying it to the 
words " Fair winds" and " Genial showers." It 
is next applied to the words " Government tran- 
quil:" " People repose;" and in conclusion is 
annexed to an expression of good wishes for the 
Hoppo, conveyed in the significant terms, "Afflu- 
ent place," and " High rank." His admonitions 
in red paper are then handed to the different officers 
under his command, and they perform the cere- 
mony of kneeling and knocking their heads in 
congratulation on his appointment. The Hong 
merchants, over whom he presides, and the lin- 
guists then pay him a similar honour. On which 
he retires from the great hall and repairs to the 
kitchen, where he offers sacrifices to " the presid- 
ing god of the furnace," to secure the health of 
his family. 

The servants of Mandarins are, in general, per- 
sons of education and abilities, and are often em- 
ployed, by the magistrates whom they serve, in the 


execution of public business. They are known by the 
title of Chang-sing, " Constant Followers," a name 
originally given by an Emperor to one of his ser- 
vants, on account of his fidelity. They are com* 
posed of different grades. The first consists of 
descendants of poor Mandarins ; the next is com* 
posed of the sons of wealthy merchants, who, 
becoming bankrupts, left them no other resource 
but serving the magistrate, to whom their ac- 
quaintance with the ways of life is a sufficient 
recommendation. Others have been taken from 
the haunts of dissipation, from which they have 
gained a tact and knowledge that suits them for 
employment. And a fourth class enlists in its 
ranks, fellows who are willing to be made the in-, 
struments in any depravity which the debauched 
habits of their masters may suggest. Proclamations 
have been frequently issued at Macao, prohibiting 
the extortions of coolies, or licensed porters, on the 
arrival of a foreign ship at that port. They have 
been threatened with the infliction of the wooden 
collar, in case they exact more than is usually paid 
them by the natives. 

The bankers in Canton are termed Shroffs, and 
possess about 70 establishments in that city. The 
dealings of some are carried on solely in Sycee silver 
and bullion, whilst the rest extend their transactions 
to the exchange of dollars and other money. The 
Hong merchants, who are often partners in these esta- 
blishments, employ the bankers to manufacture the 


Sycee; each ingot of which is stamped with the 
Hong chop, the date of its melting, and the name 
of the shroff. The adulteration of this bullion has 
never been known to have taken place ; the punish- 
ment for such an offence would not only be severe 
to the parties engaged in it, but would be entailed 
upon every member of their families* The purity 
of gold, if of a very high touch, is commonly tested 
by the touch-stone, which is a sure method above 
the rate of 95 or 96: below these numbers, they 
resort to a process which they call roasting, used 
in the examination of silver. The Chinese have 
but one coin, which is called tung-t$een y or more 
generally cash; it is of copper, and the value but a 
third of an English farthing There are petty 
shroffs, who occupy stalls in the streets, and ex- 
change this coin for dollars, or pieces of silver, for 
which they receive a certain commission. A tael is 
equal to 1000 of these cash, which, notwithstanding 
their trifling value, are frequently counterfeited. 
There is a coin, similar to this, iu use among the 
Cochin Chinese, on which the names of their kings 
are impressed, as those of the emperors are on 
the Chinese coin. A great influx of this foreign 
money had taken place in Canton, amounting to 
nearly one half of the circulation, but the Emperor, 
on being informed of the circumstance, felt his 
dignity so hurt by the use of a foreign coin among 
his subjects, that he ordered it to be totally pro- 
hibited in future. This order was, of course, a 


source of great inconvenience to people in trade. 
Their objection to the circulation of dollars, im- 
ported by Europeans, is equally great ; as may be 
seen by the following extract from an imperial 
edict on the subject. 

" I have heard that the foreigner's money called 
the big wig ; the little wig (dollars) ; the deshevelled 
head ; the bat ; the double pillars ; the sword and 
horse (dollar), &c. pass current in the interior ; not 
to buy goods, but to buy silver. They clandestinely 
exchange them for Sycee silver at a deduction of 
two or three candareens. 

" From Fokien to Canton ; Keang-se, Che- 
keang, Keang-soo, up to the Yellow River, and in 
all the provinces South of it, the foreign money pre- 
vails. In paying the land-tax, and in trading 
transactions, there is no case in which foreign money 
is not employed. Foreign ships pretend that they 
bring it into China to buy goods ; but they import 
dollars, and have them conveyed to all the pro- 
vinces and harbours, for the special purpose of 
buying Sycee, so that silver daily diminishes in the 
interior, ajad foreign money increases. The high 
price of silver of late years must surely be attri- 
buted to this cause/' 

In the various provinces of China there are 
tribes of mountaineers, who live in a wild and un- 
civilized condition, and most of whom do not 
acknowledge themselves subject to the Chinese 
Government. They are known by the general ap- 


pellation of Miao*t$ze, supposed to be so called 
from Miao, an ear of grain, in allusion to their 
natural and primitive mode of life. The Yaw-tow 
tribe are addicted to fighting. They do not employ 
cattle in agriculture, but substitute the efforts of 
human strength. The women braid their hair on 
the crown of their heads, and wear fen-shaped 
bonnets, adorned with silver thread ; to fasten them 
they use long pins, fashioned like a guitar. 
They wear double rings in their ears, and round 
their necks they carry several of considerable size. 
Their clothes, which are short, have an embroidered 
border. They observe an invariable custom, by 
which the daughters of the sister marry the sons of 
the brother. Should the uncle have no sons, the 
niece is, nevertheless, handed over to him, and he 
obtains a husband for her, or not, as he thinks 
proper, having paid the dowry to her parents. 
The T$mg-chung tribe are so called from their 
blue garments. They pound the bones of ani- 
mals with rice, and when this mixture has become 
sour and rancid it is considered a great delicacy. 
The women are of fair complexion, and are very 
expert at the needle. Chess is a favourite amuse- 
ment with them, and also hand-ball, at which they 
are very dexterous. They are, however, totally 
unacquainted with letters. Among the T*ung-chuh- 
hmg 9 the young women are always dressed in white: 
married women wear, as a distinctive body, square 
caps of fine cloth, and allow their hair to hang down 


their backs in the shape of a tail, to the length of 
two feet : this they rub at times with hog's lard, 
which is attended, as may be supposed, with any- 
thing but a pleasant smell. There are about eighty 
of these Clans, the manners of some being, in a 
slight degree, and of others, not at all, removed 
from barbarism. One of them, a race of vagrant 
gypsies, employ themselves in the collection of 
medicinal herbs, and the study of their application. 
They are generally found by the side of mountain- 
streams, and remain but a short time in the same 
spot. They are remarkable for their honesty and 
simplicity. There are other gypsy clans, who 
come from the eastern district of Canton, and who 
are distinguished by very different habits; on 
coming to the town they raise their mat sheds by 
the sides of the roads, or in the burial grounds, 
where they render themselves so obnoxious that 
they have obtained the nick-name of " Hill-dogs," 
and are continually subjected to the prosecution of 
the magistrates. On the occasion of a funeral, 
one of them will throw himself into the grave, from 
which he cannot be removed without the payment 
of a fee. The dread of inflicting bodily injury, 
which the law would render penal, in such a case, 
prevents the injured parties from proceeding in a 
summary manner with such intruders. When a 
grave has become deserted, no kindred being left 
to pay it the customary honours, these fellows ap- 
propriate it to themselves, and, taking up the 


remains, dispose of the ground. Some of the 
mountaineers, just mentioned, have lately made 
their appearance in Canton, to which they came 
down the western river in light boats, having taken 
about a month in the passage. They brought with 
them oil, which they were desirous of exchanging 
for betel-nut, opium, &c. They had got a smatter- 
ing of* the Chinese language, from which their 
native tongue is totally different : the latter is 
merely oral, and they have, consequently, no books 
or writings of any description. Nor have they any 
defined forms of worship, but are without either 
priests or temples. The only religious observance 
they follow is a part of the new year's ceremony, 
which they acquired from the Chinese, 


Immoral character of the Chinese — Prevalence of Corruption — 
Social Ties —Chinese Ethics — Wives and Concubines — Grounds 
of Divorce — Education — Gambling — Pugilistic Code — Suicide — 
Criminal Law— Hypocrisy and Venality of the Authorities— Ex- 
tensive and Ingenious Systems of Plunder, by land and water — 
Kidnapping — Laws and Edicts — Despotism of the Magistracy — 

The contemplation of the moral character of the 
Chinese is any thing but pleasurable. It would 
seem that the causes which weigh down, or indeed 
extinguish, their mental energies give additional 
range to the depravity of their hearts, and that their 
constitutional weakness makes them an easy prey 
to the passions and vices which are ever ready to 
take possession, where there is an adhering predis- 
position to entertain them. The proclamations of 
the magistrates at Canton to enforce the better ob- 
servance of public decorum are ceaseless, and no 
other proof than their frequency is required to point 
out their inefficiency, while the force of example 
carries all before it. In a conversation between the 
Foo-yuen and some Mandarins who visited him 
during his indisposition, he is reported to have ex- 
pressed himself in the following terms : — " When 
first I came to Canton, I was ignorant of the manners, 



customs, and habits of the people, and I fancied that 
they were the same as in other parts of the empire. 
I have been an attentive observer of men and things, 
here and elsewhere. I have examined and com- 
pared. The comparison is woefully against Canton : 
deceit and falsehood prevail everywhere-^-in all 
ranks and in all places. There is no truth in man, 
nor honesty in woman ! I have endeavoured in 
vain to correct these evils : it has been labour lost. 
I am sick at heart, and wish to depart from such 
scenes of vice, and habitual falsehood, finding that 
they are too deep-rooted ever to be eradicated. I 
have implored the Emperor to allow me to depart in 
peace. All is vanity and vexation of spirit/* Vicious 
habits are so universal among all ranks, that the 
edicts of the magistrate are quite unavailing, and he 
is often obliged to call upon fathers and elder 
brothers to use their exertions in the suppression of 
vice in the younger branches of society; these 
habits are encouraged by the existence of so many 
receptacles for dissipation, to which young men axe 
ensnared, and from which they cannot tear them- 
selves till their property is squandered, and destitu- 
tion drives them to the commission of more serious 
offences. In the streets the walls are frequently 
covered with placards, puffing off the drugs of 
quack doctors for the use of the dissolute, and 
written in language that bears neither the stamp of 
decency nor civilization. It is not unusual to ad- 
vertise, in a similar way, the loss of a concubine, 


the description of whose dress and flight is given 
without any regard to delicacy. The magistrates 
often cause these productions to be defaced with 
whitewash ; but the police are so corrupt or power- 
less, that the same proceedings are immediately 
renewed. Officers have been despatched to pull 
down sheds erected on interdicted places, and on 
the same day, on the departure of the police, the 
sheds have been put up again on the spot that was 
forbidden. Numberless are the abuses which the 
governor of Canton has endeavoured to suppress, 
but which no efforts of his can abolish, until he in- 
troduces the sweeping hand of reform among the 
magistrates, police, and government agents, who 
are the origin or the supporters of every corruption. 
An attentive observer may trace a gradual link of 
despotism through the whole population: the at- 
tainment of wealth seems the grand object of all 
classes, and the means by which it may be procured 
are considered not with regard to their propriety, 
but their possibility. The violent extortion of 
illegal fees, and the institution of false accusations, 
for the purpose of extorting money, called in the 
slang of the public offices, planting a fir tree, are 
carried on with impunity. Justice is but a shadow ; 
wealth alone is power, for it alone will ensure tole- 
ration or protection; and yet it is often the means 
of its possessor Jailing a prey to the rapacity of the 
Government. A native, who had amassed consi- 
derable property as Comprador to an English mer- 


chant, retired to his native place, near Macao, com* 
monly called Casa Branca, and erected a house 
near the military station, which is surrounded by a 
fortified wall. The display of his wealth attracted 
the attention of the police, who, by permission of 
their superior, set about the discovery of some plan 
by which they might appropriate a portion of it to 
themselves. An old tree stood between his house 
and the wall; the Geomancer informed him the 
tree was unlucky, and by his suggestion, he directed 
its immediate removal. In cutting it down, how- 
ever, it fell against the wall and carried away a part 
of it in its descent to the ground. He was accused 
of dilapidating his Majesty's fortifications ; a prose- 
cution was instituted, and he was ultimately de- 
prived of some thousands of his dollars. Strangers 
are, of course, peculiarly liable to rapacity and im- 
position, seldom unattended by violence and insult 
from which the most respectable resident commer- 
cial agents are not exempt. Money obtained by 
these disreputable means is spent with folly, which 
surpasses the guilt by which it was procured. The 
natives who have thus enriched themselves, become 
purse-proud and insolent, indulging in all kinds of 
sensual extravagance. They fall in their turn a 
prey to the rapacity of the Government, which, by 
the aid of their own vices, doon reduces them to 
disgrace and beggary. The provinces of Shen-se 
and Shan-se have long been esteemed the most opu- 
lent in China ; the natives boast of their possessions, 


and compare their heaps of gold to mountains ; the 
money-lenders of Canton are principally from these 
provinces. Towards the close of the reign of the 
late Emperor Kea-King, the son of a rich widow 
named Chun, of the district Toe-yum-foo^ rendered 
himself notorious by the lengths to which he carried 
his extravagance. Among his amusements, that of 
chess was a favourite ; but not content with playing 
it on a piece of board or paper, as is customary with 
the Chinese, he caused a large room to be painted 
as a chess-board, with seats at either side for him- 
self and friend. For chess-men, he purchased a set 
of beautiful female slaves, who were clad in various 
colours, and went through the evolutions of knights, 
pawns, castles, &c, as the game required, and ac- 
cording to a given signal. When a piece was lost, 
its representative immediately left the apartment. 
When the Emperor heard of these proceedings, he 
could scarcely contain his chagrin on finding him- 
self outdone in luxury, and affected the highest dis- 
pleasure that slaves should be purchased for such a 
questionable purpose. Chun was fined 3,000,000 
of taels, and banished to the Black Dragon Rwer for 
life, being told at the same time to congratulate 
himself that his " brain cup" was not separated from 
his shoulders. 

Social ties are almost totally disregarded in China, 

save that between parent and child; and which 

is a bond rather of habit than affection. From the 

earliest age, obedience to parental authority is im- 

4 p 


pressed both by education and example ; and the 
Government find very beneficial results firom the 
power which they intrust to, or suffer in, parents, as 
they, thereby, in a great measure, extend or secure 
their own influence. Keen-a-tseih, was well known 
by the police as the leader in the daring robberies 
which had long occurred in the district of Pwan-yu, 
but he continued to elude the vigilant efforts which 
were made to secure him. Orders were issued by 
the Governor for his capture, at any hazard, and a 
reward of 3000 dollars was offered to any one who 
would cause his apprehension. The robber was 
aware that his father and mother would be seized, 
and compelled to inform against him, and sooner 
than permit them to suffer on his account, he gave 
himself up to the authorities. The policeman, to 
whom he delivered himself, received the promised 
reward, and being struck with the noble mindedness 
of Keen-a-tseih, he gave him a thousand dollars, 
for the benefit of his family after his execution. 
He was tried, found guilty, and condemned to death. 
A similar account is related of a Ladrone, who 
headed a band of pirates in a successful attack on 
How-qua's fort, which is situated between Canton 
and Whampoa. They removed the guns of the 
fort, which they plundered, having first cut off the 
ears of the captain, and the noses of the soldiers, who 
were there to defend it The Ladrone then despatch- 
ed the main body of his followers down the river, 
and proceeded afterwards himself, with but a few 


attendants., The officers of the Government were 
made acquainted with his movements, but were afraid 
to pursue him, so great a panic did his name spread 
among them. His family, however, were seized, 
from the grandfather downwards, on hearing which, 
the robber immediately repaired to the house where 
they were detained, declaring that " it was unne- 
cessary so many should die for one." The soldiers 
were still afraid to advance, on which he placed 
himself between them and his family, and drawing 
his knife, he stabbed himself, exclaiming that " they 
were now welcome to seize him." These circum- 
stances will serve to illustrate the force of early 
impressions, which not even the acquaintance with 
numberless crimes can wholly eradicate.* Parental 
authority, winked at by the magistracy, is carried 

* As a further illustration of social virtue amongst the Chinese, 
I may mention that early in the year 1 828, four men who were 
returning home from a distant market, in a junk, were surprised by 
a gust of wind, and overturned in the water. Just as they were on 
the point of perishing, some English gentlemen, (Messrs. Jackson, 
Lindsay, and Astell) went to their assistance, and fortunately saved 
their lives. The gratitude of the Chinese was boundless. They 
voluntarily came to Canton and appeared before the above gentlemen 
to " knock head and worship an hundred times,' 9 and having received 
the subscription which had been raised for them, in consequence of 
the loss of their junk, they presented a thanksgiving document, 
rail of the most extravagant expressions of admiration and gratitude ; 
pledging themselves to erect gold lettered tablets in honour of their 
deliverers, to spread their names, and the fame of their virtues 
wherever they went. These instances of sound good feeling are, 
I regret to say, extremely rare amongst the Chinese. 

212 a mother's petition. 

sometimes to an extent that will surprise the English 
reader. Not long since, at the village of Chang- 
yuen, in the vicinity of Canton, there was a youth 
named Lew, of a depraved disposition, being 
addicted to thieving and other culpable practices. 
Constant complaints were made to his parents by 
their neighbours, and they, feeling themselves dis- 
graced by him, and seeing no prospect of his amend- 
ment, agreed to put him to death, although he was 
their only son. Having formed this resolution, 
they passed a cord round his neck, and one pulling 
at each end, they at length strangled him. The 
affair was not at all concealed, and an old Chinese, 
who heard the circumstances related, declared his 
intention of using similar measures with his grand- 
son, unless he speedily altered his conduct. The 
affair remained unnoticed by the authorities, as 
there was not any one to undertake a prosecution 
for the murder. Even parental power, so unre- 
strained, is sometimes insufficient to curb the vicious 
propensities which are so prevalent. The following 
petition, which is amusing from the peculiarity of 
its language, I annex with little alteration, save in 
the omission of words, which are not sufficiently 
delicate for insertion. " A mother's petition to the 
Nanhae magistrate against a dissolute son. A duly 
prepared petition. Wei-ping, the petitioner, is a 
widow in her 63d year, who lives at the Three-eyed- 
well, under the constablery ef Tseang-tih-ping. 
The petition is concerning a rebellious son ; and the 


favour begged that he may be examined and cor- 
rected for the benefit of the public morals. The 
petitioner became a widow early in life. She had 
three sons. The eldest supports her by teaching to 
read. The youngest unhappily died early. But 
the middle one, A-keen-soo, has learned nothing for 
a subsistence. He is addicted to low pursuits — 
attends to no business — remains not in his proper 
sphere, but gambles, squanders my property, and 
sticks at nothing. I have directed my eldest son to 
admonish him with strictness, but he not only per- 
severes in his wickedness without remorse, but of 
late has learned to smoke opium, and has become 
more cruel and perverse than before. He has stolen 
every thing in the house to sell ; and assails me 
every morning and evening for money. If I reprove 
or scold him a little, this rebel dares to stare with 
angry eyes, and rubs his fists as if going to fight. 
His wolfish heart and horrid conduct make my hairs 
stand on end. Unless I deliver him up to the 
magistrate to chastise him severely, some great 
calamity must eventually happen. Prostrate, I beg 
that he may be examined and chastised. Thus, 
though I should die, it will be like the year of my 
birth/' This will, doubtless, remind the reader 
of juvenile delinquency in more civilized countries, 
where the prosecution of the child by the parent 
is, unhappily, not uncommon. 

China is not without her moral writers, although 
it may be observed that but little attention is paid 


to the precepts which they lay down. They are 
distinguished into two classes; the one, whose 
instructions are given, like those of Confucius, with- 
out any additional arguments of a religious nature : 
and the other, of more modern times, who make 
obedience to the gods the chief incentive to propriety 
of conduct, A writer of the latter school puts forth 
ten rules for moral observance, 

1. Filial duties to parents. 

2. The respect due to superiors. 

3. Domestic harmony — especially between hus- 

band and wife. 

4. The education of children. 

5. The government of the family. 

6. General behaviour to other people. 

7. Great respect to the learned of the Confucian 

8. Quietly abiding contented in one's own station, 

whether scholar; agriculturist; mechanic 
or merchant ; rich or poor. 

9. The practice of virtuous deeds ; &c. 

10. Lastly, the avoidance of vicious ones. 

The first in order and importance is filial piety. 
One of the arguments used to induce the observ- 
ance of this rule is — the remembrance of the 
trouble and anxiety which parents have endured, 
especially the mother, who, it appears, like the 
Jewish mothers of old, is accustomed to nurse her 
children three years. The duty of the latter is to 
provide their parents with food and clothing, and 


attend to their comforts whether in health or sick- 
ness. Entering into the married state does not 
release the son from the obligation, but rather 
extends it to the wife; disobedience, this writer 
observes, arises, in general, from a love of accumu- 
lation, and uxorious habits. In the second place, 
under the denomination of superiors, are classed 
elder brothers ; seniors of one's kindred ; teachers ; 
magistrates ; eminently virtuous men ; country 
gentlemen ; old men of the village, &c. He inveighs 
against the inattention with which etiquette and 
the distinctions of society are treated at present, and 
puts forth a few patriarchal hints upon this point. 
He advises inferiors to shew the respect, if walking, 
by keeping behind ; if sitting, by taking their seats 
tower down ; by kneeling when they ought to 
kneel, and bowing when they ought to bow; by 
standing* when they answer a question, and doing 
what they are ordered with alacrity. In considering 
the proper observance of conjugal ties, he is gallant 
enough to take the part of the ladies, and to set 
down husbands as the originators of all domestic 
dSsagrhnens : he makes certain allowances for dis- 
appointment in many cases, but bids the husband 
sooth himself with the reflection that he has been 
chosen out of millions, as the person to whom the 
lady was to be united by the destiny of a previous 
existence : he reminds him that she has forsaken 
her own parents to serve his ; and that she has 
given up her own brothers and sisters to come and 


compliment his brothers and sisters ; after having 
entered into various arguments on this subject, he 
describes with minuteness, and lashes without 
reserve, the habits of the manifold bad husbands in 
China, whom he refers to Providence, to be dealt 
with according to their merits. 

That his criminations are not groundless is shewn 
by a proclamation lately issued at Whampoa, to 
prevent the disorder into which the relations of 
wife and concubine were thrown by the husbands 
of that district A wife " foci" is distinguished as 
having been married by the gradual ceremony of 
customary presents. It would seem to be by no 
means unusual for wives and concubines to appear 
before the magistrates with mutual accusations, the 
one of cruelty, and the other of usurpation. Accord- 
ing to the law, whoever puts his wife into the place 
of the latter, shall receive one hundred blows of a 
round cudgel ; and, whilst his wife is alive, who- 
ever permits her station to be usurped shall be 
punished with ninety blows from a similar weapon. 
The practice of separation for slight causes has 
obliged the criminal judge of Canton to issue a 
prohibitory proclamation against it, in which it is 
stated that want, brought on by love of gaming, 
and a lack of food and clothes, produces sometimes 
sudden repudiation, without regret. Prosperity 
has frequently a similar effect. The unfortunate 
wives are, in other instances, sold, to sing and play, 
or for more disgraceful purposes. The edict con- 


eludes with the following denunciation. " If ye 
persist and reform not, it is resolved to prosecute 
with the utmost rigour of law. Under the luminous 
heaven, and renovating sun, of his Majesty's reign, 
it is impossible to endure you, ye wounders and 
destroyers of the public morals. Let each trem- 
blingly obey this mandate, and not induce a too 
late repentance/' There are seven occasions of the 
legality of a divorce; if it occur without one of 
them the offender subjects himself to a punishment 
of eighty blows; they are as follows: having no 
son ; lewdness ; not serving her husband's parents ; 
loquacity ; theft or robbery ; envy or malice j 
disease. Some of these would, no doubt, be 
considered by European ladies as tyrannical in- 
fringements on their rights. The application of 
castigatory measures by either husband or wife, 
and wounding each other is also considered suffi- 
cient to entitle the party offended against to a sepa- 
ration. There are three cases, however, in which 
some of these legal causes cannot be alleged ; during 
the three years mourning for the death of a 
parent; if the parties were first poor, and afterward^ 
rich; and if the wife had no house to which she 
could return at the time of her marriage. A prac-r 
tice has lately become pretty general among the 
rich inhabitants of the North of China, of taking 
home the husband to the abode of his father-in-law, 
instead of sending the daughter to the house of 
her husband. Marriages have taken place between 

218 Education of children. 

the Chinese and M ohamedans in Western Tartary. 
No law exists for the punishment of persons en- 
gaged in these transactions ; but the Supreme 
Court has lately ordered them, if detected in future, 
to be made public examples of, as the Chinamen, 
in these cases, abandon their tails and assume the 
Mussulman costume. 

I will now revert to the fourth regulation of the 
moral writer already spoken of, which treats of the 
education of children, a subject of vital importance 
to society. In childhood, when impressions are 
strengthened by their novelty, care should be taken 
to engraft those principles which should form the 
character, and serve to steer by in the course of 
after life, when the storms of passion and the floods 
of temptation mingle in the track. Children, says 
he, are by nature, unpolished stone; an unculti- 
vated field ; and parents should become agricultu- 
rists and lapidaries. He looks upon the indulgence 
of parents as the source of many evils, and advo- 
cates the early commencement of instruction and 
a consistency of method. The choice of companions 
is a chief consideration : " if you touch vermilion," 
he observes, " it will make the part red ; if you 
touch ink it will make it black." In speaking of 
the education of girls, he enlarges on the unfortu- 
nate consequences of their not being taught self- 
control, from the absence of which, in after years, 
they frequently destroy themselves, or those around 
them, in fits of ungovernable passion. To rule 


a family well, he suggests the necessity of residing 
in a virtuous neighbourhood, where children afe 
not only free from the contamination of vice, but 
may receive the benefits resulting from their wit- 
nessing the practice of virtue and morality. He 
decries a residence near Buddha temples ; the man- 
sions of the wealthy ; and rivers' banks. The best as- 
pect of a house is described as the south, the next 
east, then north, and finally the west. Servants are 
quite as depraved as those above them ; it would 
indeed be strange did they neglect to emulate the 
vices of their superiors. Espionage is not only a 
system of the Government, but of private adoption, 
and servants are generally made the willing instru- 
ments : they become the spies of the merchants 
or of the police, as occasion may require, or as the 
ratio of profit may hold out to them inducements. 
I have heard of an old Chinese, who, in straining 
every nerve for the attainment of a governorship, 
invited the servant of a foreigner to dine with him, 
and treated him with perfect equality, to obtain 
information from him which he thought would 
answer his purpose. 

Gambling in China is carried to an unprecedented 
extent; and has obtained so firm a footing, and 
spread so widely among the people, that the laws 
enacted for its suppression are attended with results 
deplorably futile. The universality of this destructive 
vice, a peculiar characteristic of which is to gain 
strength, and influence, in proportion to the ill sue- 


cess of its votaries, may account in a great measure 
for the dishonest and shuffling habits of the people 
in all commercial transactions in which they are 
engaged. The general existence of a propensity, 
so calculated to destroy all the better feelings of 
humanity, leaves us to regret the misery it occasions, 
while we hail it as a landmark in our survey of 
the moral character of the people. The oanaille 
in the streets commonly convert their petty pur- 
chases at the small stalls into mere games of hazard, 
risking the whole amount of the stake for the 
chance of increasing the quantity of the article 
which they desire to obtain. But the vice is not 
confined to the lower orders: the keepers of 
gaming-houses in Canton are frequently indivi- 
duals of rank and property, who enter into alliances 
to entrap the unwary, and inveigle young men 
of property into a love of play. Instances are 
to be found of the gentler sex becoming mem- 
bers of such establishments, and sharers in the 
tolerated plunder they produce. The penal liabi- 
lities are the confiscation of all the property found 
in a gaming-house as well as the house itself, and 
the punishment of eighty blows to be inflicted on 
all who play for either money or goods. To play 
for food or liquors is not considered an offence. 
Not long since, the names of some noted gamesters 
were published and held up for general observa- 
tion ; more with a view to caution the simple than 
to disgrace the offenders. Amongst them we find 


the cognomen of Fei-ching-po, who is described 
as a fat old lady, seventy years of age, in robust 
health, and a scientific boxer. She retained in her 
service several pugilists, who attended her as bullies. 
Other names are given of persons, with whom the 
art of self-defence, (with them, doubtless, more 
frequently the art of offence,) is held in great requi- 
sition. This "science" is universally taught and 
practised in China, although the local governments 
do not give it their sanction. They have no pitched 
battles, but they frequently put forth pamphlets, in 
which the necessary instructions are given, clothed 
in terms of the most fanciful description. The 
first lesson consists of the learner's winding his 
tail tight round his head ; stripping himself to the 
buff; putting his right foot foremost, and thrusting 
his right fist with all his force against a bag of 
sand, suspended for the purpose. He is to change 
his hands and feet alternately and continue punish- 
ing the bag of sand for hours together. This is 
termed by the " Fancy" — " thumping down walls 
and overturning parapets." The second lesson is 
called " A golden dragon thrusting out his claws/' 
which is performed in the following manner : the 
pugilist grasps in each hand a heavy stone, wrought 
into the form of a Chinese lock, these he practises 
thrusting out at his arm's length, right and left al- 
ternately, until fatigue obliges him to discontinue the 
operation. These are succeeded by other feats, 
whose titles are equally figurative and appropriate ; 


such as "A crow stretching out his wings. — A 
dragon issuing forth from his den. — A drunken 
Chinaman knocking at your door. — A sphinx 
spreading her wings. — A hungry tiger seizing a 
lamb. — A hawk clawing a sparrow. — A crane and a 
muscle reciprocally embarrassed : " — terms, which, 
it must be acknowledged, would not have disgraced 
the age of the gladiators. 

The frequent recurrence of suicide in Canton is 
at the same time a proof, and a consequence, of the 
demoralization which so generally exists ; it is a 
melancholy demonstration of the weakness, both 
mental and bodily, which prevails among the inha- 
bitants. A silly ambition, " to make light of life," 
has crept among them ; and the most insignificant 
causes frequently occasion the commission of self- 
destruction. It is calculated that eight or nine- 
tenths of the untimely deaths which come under 
the notice of the authorities, are caused by suicide, 
and of these, six or seven-tenths are perpetrated 
by women. Trivial disputes and the irritation 
of the moment, the discontent occasioned by 
the poverty of their circumstances, sullen im- 
patience of reproof, and the dread of sustaining 
the punishment entailed by violation of the 
laws, are often the origin of these rash and fatal 
deeds. It is, also, not unfrequently the case, that 
persons destroy themselves, from a desire to throw 
suspicion upon those who may have been the objects 
of their resentment, and thereby involve them, if posr 
sible, in their death. A pertinacious adherence to 


bad customs, and the impressions made by legendary 
tales, lend their aid in inducing the disregard of 
life, which is looked upon as meritorious by the 
female branches. Young women form themselves 
into sisterhoods, and repining at their destiny, 
which give them existence as women, repair in num- 
bers to a river, where they resign themselves simul- 
taneously into the arms of death. A proclamation 
was recently put forth by the celebrated Judge 
Yaou, " prohibiting the wicked and foolish custom 
of terminating one's own existence." As the argu- 
ments which he uses, however, are purely of a legal 
or social nature, without any reference to a future 
responsibility, it is not probable that they would 
meet with the effect intended. He does not extend 
his reasoning to the fear of incurring the Divine 
wrath, by sinfully resigning that life which is the 
gift, and at the disposal of Heaven ; the importance 
of which consideration is alike unthought of by 
himself, and those whose crime his remarks are in- 
tended to deprecate. Without the enforcement of 
religious persuasion, he is not likely to decrease the 
numbers of the offenders, who, by commission of 
the act, against which he exclaims, abandon all 
earthly ties ; and, in the blindness of their last 
crime, fling themselves into the presence of the 
offended Deity. 

From the consideration of the morality of the 
Chinese, to that of their police regulations and 
criminal law, is a natural, though not a very pleas- 
ing step. It may be inferred from the remarks 


already made, that the persons, in whose hands the 
executive power is placed, make an invariable prac- 
tice of abusing the trust which is reposed in them, 
and consider the office which they hold, solely with 
a view to their own aggrandizement, without con- 
sulting the legality of the means by which they may 
effect it. To the Governor of a province, or the 
lowest ' runner ' of the police, these observations are 
equally applicable. Even the very fountain-head 
of Government is not free from pollution ; much as 
they may affect surprise and indignation at the 
frequent instances of misrule, and often as they 
declare their determination to make summary ex- 
amples of the magistrates whose corruption they 
witness, it is pretty evident, that they are willing 
to wink at all abuses, provided fliey can render them 
the means of increasing the revenue. The police are 
in the habit of arresting rich individuals under false 
accusations, and confining them in private houses, 
or the hold of a boat, where they are subjected to 
torture and ill treatment of various kinds, to induce 
them to pay for their liberation. The constancy 
with which these illegal acts are repeated, arises, 
no doubt, from the popular conviction of the in- 
utility of appealing to the authorities above them. 
In the exaction of disallowed fees, chiefly on the 
occasion of collecting the land-tax, the Govern- 
ment agents will give themselves slight cuts on the 
head or elsewhere, and then threaten to impeach, 
for wounding his Majesty's officers, a capital 
offence, from the accusation of which, individuals 


think themselves fortunate in escaping, by sub- 
mission to a considerable levy. The combination 
between the police runners and thieves, is notorious, 
and is the cause of the daily increase of every 
description of spoliation. They either participate 
in the plunder, or seize them and exact a certain 
sum to set them at liberty. When the frequency of 
crime renders the arrest of offenders absolutely un- 
avoidable, the police, for the sake of appearances, 
bring before the magistrates old delinquents who 
had nothing to do with the robbery in question, 
while they permit the actual offenders to go about 
undisturbed. Woo-King-Hang, in representing this 
state of things to his Majesty, recommends the 
adoption of the following plan to ensure the 
honesty of the police. He would require all the 
courts to send in, twice a year, authenticated lists 
of the thieves informed against, together with the 
names of all who were taken or had effected their 
escape. He would thereby be enabled to appre- 
ciate the diligence or remissness of the functionaries 
in the respective districts. Information was lately 
given to the Governor of the movements of an 
opium smuggler, called a " Fast-Going Crab Boat," 
which the revenue cutters were ordered to seize 
within six days, or render themselves liable to cer- 
tain penalties. Being unsuccessful in their attempts 
to take her, they caused one to be fitted up precisely 
like her, sent her outside the harbour, and, after a 
pursuit and sham fight, they seized her and reported 
4 Q 


her capture, as the smuggler in question, within 
the time allowed. The Magistrates are quite as 
corrupt and self-interested as the police. Their in- 
attention to their official duties is a frequent cause 
of complaint to the Emperor. It would appear, 
that they are in the habit of resorting to the 
Governor's, whenever they can find an opportunity 
or an excuse for paying their respects to him, while 
they leave the transaction of the public business in 
the hands of inefficient or irresponsible persons, if 
not altogether neglected. Some of them entirely 
absent themselves, till, by their assiduities, they ob* 
tain from the Governor the appointment to some 
more lucrative post. The Governor, whose duty it 
is to pay his own secretaries, fills up those situa- 
tions with the officers of his province who are paid 
for attending to other employments, and do not seek 
any emolument from him: they take care, however, 
to make the people their pay-masters, or reckon on 
the influence of the Governor in the attainment of 
something more to their advantage. At other times 
he raises his own creatures from the lowest grades 
to the temporary occupation of respectable offices, 
during their continuance in which, they cause all 
who come within their grasp to submit to the most 
disgraceful extortion. 

Associations for plunder are so numerous and 
powerful, that neither by land nor water are the 
people safe from attack. Bands of pirates infest the 
rivers ; and, under pretence of being custom-house 


searchers, board and plunder every trading boat that 
comes within their reach ; even Government boats 
do not meet with the least respect or distinction, but 
are frequently plundered in spite of the officers who 
attend them. The conveyance of goods, by land, is 
equally dangerous, and carriers are so frequently 
waylaid under similar pretences, that the Magis- 
trates have recently issued an order that no native 
is to be searched on his passage from one place to 
another. Persons making an attempt to search, 
except at some public pass, or custom-house, may 
be seized and carried before a Magistrate, being 
threatened with death, upon conviction. If they be 
armed, and the death of any of them ensue in the 
resistance which is made, the slayer is declared free 
from ail liability of punishment. The formers are 
had under heavy contributions by the bands of 
robbers, who, in most instances, succeed in exact- 
ing from them a tribute to entitle them to security : 
in harvest-time, their attacks are of a very serious 
nature, whole crops being cut down, and often de- 
stroyed in the most wanton manner. The military 
and police are consequently ordered, at the time of 
reaping, to patrol by land and water, and protect 
the interests of the agriculturists. The punishment 
for stealing cattle used in agriculture, is the in- 
fliction of 100 blows and transportation : those who 
kill and sell their own cattle, incur the same penalty. 
The robberies at night are committed by persons 
who prowl about on the roofe of the houses, and the 


Magistrate advises the inhabitants to provide them- 
selves with spears and hooks, fastened to shafts twelve 
cubits in length, to enable them to reach from roof to 
roof in pursuing the thieves. The use of fire-arms 
loaded with ball or shot, is forbidden, but grains of 
hard paddy are permitted as a substitute for the latter; 
<« because," says the Magistrate, "while I would de- 
tect thieves, I would save lives." In consequence of 
the difficulty of recovering property, even after the 
arrest of the plunderers, and to induce landlords to 
inquire into the character of their tenants, it is or- 
dered, that ail houses, in which stolen goods are 
found, shall become the property of the informer. 
In a Proclamation by the Whampoa Magistrate, he 
states, that the prevalence of such enormities in his 
district, argues an unusual contempt of the law : 
he therefore threatens the robbers, that hencefor- 
ward on taking them, he will cut the tendons of 
their feet, and then bring them to trial and punish 
them without the slightest mercy. He concludes 
with the following exhortation : — " Let this strike 
your eye, O ye thieves, and affect your heart ! Re- 
form your depraved manners, and return to a right 
course : don't with levity use your bodies to make 
an experiment V 9 The practices of raising incen- 
diary fires for the sake of plunder ; receiving stolen 
goods ; exacting money from farmers and fisher- 
men for tickets of security; and taking the oaths of 
illegal associations ; are severally inveighed against 
in other proclamations. In Canton, where the exer- 


tions of the police were much more energetic than 
elsewhere, the number of undecided cases in court, 
in December, 1828, were no less than 430, in which 
informations were laid against 2100 banditti, who 
were still untaken. Judge Yaou, feeling the in- 
competency of the police to apprehend the of- 
fenders, held out to them promises of pardon, or 
mitigation of punishment, in case they delivered 
themselves up, or were instrumental in arresting 
any of their companions. Those who were guilty 
of murdex, arson, violation, or maiming the masters 
of houses, were not permitted to avail themselves 
of this very politic clemency. The lives of those 
who wounded people were to be spared, in case those 
who were wounded recovered, and information laid 
by the family of an offender, would be as effective 
as his voluntary surrender, in procuring a mitiga- 
tion of punishment. The inability of the Magis- 
trates to put down the lawless proceedings just 
enumerated, is such, that it is a part of their policy 
to wink at those doings over which they have little 
or no control. The inhabitants are consequently 
obliged to form themselves into counter-associations 
for general protection. These are maintained by 
subscriptions, voluntary and assessed, and each 
member is engaged to make his appearance on the 
sound of the tocsin, and render all the assistance 
in his power. Among the annoyances of which 
they complain, are the disturbances caused by 
fellows who either are, or pretend to be, drunk, 


and the importunities of sturdy beggars, who make 
a practice of extorting charity by threats and inti- 
midation. On occasions of loss of property, con- 
cubines, children, &c, it is usual to stick manuscript 
advertisements against the walls for their recovery, 
one of which I annex — no bad specimen of the 
general style of such productions : — 

" Chamg-Chaou-Lai, who issues this thanks- 
giving advertisement, lives outside the south gate, 
in Great Tranquillity Lane, where he has opened an 
incense smoking musquito shop. On the evening 
of the 12th instant, two of his fellow workmen, in 
the shop, Ne-ahung and Atik, employed a stupify- 
ing drug, which by its fumes sunk all the partners 
in a deep sleep, during which they robbed the shop 
of all the money, clothes, &c. which they could 
carry away. Next morning when the partners 
awoke no trace was to be found of these two men. 
If any good people know where they are, and will 
give information, a thank's offering in flowery red 
paper of four dollars will be presented. If both the 
booty and the two men be seized, and delivered 
over at my little shop, then dollars will be pre- 
sented. Decidedly I will not eat my words. This 
advertisement is true. 

" Ne-ahung is about 20 years of age, short stature, 
has a white face and no beard. Atik, whose sur- 
name is not remembered, is upwards of 20 years of 
age, is tall, has a sallow face, and no beard. Reign 
of Taou-kwang, 9th year, 9th moon, 3rd day." 


The practice of kidnapping children is very 
common in Canton. The majority of them are re- 
moved to a distance and sold * for slaves, or play- 
actors: the female children are often disposed of 
for purposes which cause us to deplore the extreme 
imbecility of those who permit such practices to 
continue. The following is an extract from a pro- 
hibitory edict on the subject, one of the many which 
are annually issued, as a matter of form, and which 
are, doubtless, attended with as much effect on the 
minds of the people, as " preaching to the winds/' 
" Such wicked wretches as these, who distress our 
streets, and torment our children are most deserving 
of intense hatred. I the magistrate on examining 
cases of appeal about children who have not yet 
been restored, have found a clue which I shall hasten 
to unfold by secret means, in order to remove this 
calamity from the people. Beside employing these 
efforts I hereby issue a severe interdict against all 
such practices, and solemnly enjoin all soldiers and 
people to obey implicitly the laws, and to use their 
efforts to be good. Be sedulously careful not to 
kidnap children, and thereby commit a great crime. 

* In times of scarcity, the poor are sometimes reduced to the dis- 
tressing alternative of either selling their children, or seeing them 
perish for want On these occasions, many parents go about Canton 
leading their own children through the streets, offering them for sale. 
In such cases, the purchaser is required to give a written promise 
that he will provide for the child, treat it well, &c. One instance is 
mentioned of a little girl, six years of age, being sold for twenty-five 


I have already seized the kidnappers Luh-a-kae, 
Choo-te-han, Lea-ching, Taou-a-kew and others; 
all of whom have been thrown into prison, and ac- 
cording to law, sentenced to be strangled. You 
ought to consider them a mirror, showing whither 
your former course leads. Do not for the sake of 
petty gains, use your bodies to make experiments on 
the law. Let every one yield implicit obedience 
hereto. Offend not." 

Before the reign of the first actual Emperor, Tsin- 
che-Hwang-Te, 200 years B. C, the several states of 
the empire possessed their respective laws and usages. 
The first compilation of a general code is attributed 
to Le-Kwei of the principality Wei : he revised the 
statutes of the various states which composed the 
empire, and divided the selection which he made 
into six sections. Upon the usurpation of the 
throne by Tsin, this code was still maintained by his 
prime-minister Shang-Keun. It underwent many 
alterations at this time, and was increased by new. 
enactments, concocted by several lawyers whose 
names are historically recorded . .The law of punish- 
ment was still exceedingly unsettled, and was made 
the subject of continual discussion ; capital punish- 
ment being advocated by some, whilst others en- 
deavoured to support the ancient system of maiming. 
On the close of the Tsin dynasty, in the seventh 
century, this code was continued by the Han 
family, whose minister Seaou-ho caused it to submit 
to further and repeated alterations ; the six sections 


of Le-Kwei had already increased to upwards of 
nine hundred, and the attendant commentaries of 
the lawyers were so profuse and contradictory, that 
an equitable decision in criminal cases could not be 
arrived at, without the consultation of twenty-six 
thousand two hundred and seventy-two clauses. 
The record of sentences, made at this period, shews 
them to have been no less than seven millions, seven 
hundred and thirty- two thousand, two hundred. 
Jaw-hmg, or "flesh punishment," by cutting off 
any part of the body, has been discontinued of late 
years, and is not permitted by the reigning family, 
with the exception of cutting the tendon achilles. 
The punishments at present in use are the bastinado, 
transportation, and death, inflicted in proportion to 
the several degrees and species of crime. However, 
there are three modes of putting the latter sentence 
into execution : first, by strangulation, which is 
deemed the easiest and least disgraceful form of in- 
flicting death, because it preserves the body entire 
(the victim is strangled on an upright cross, on the 
transverse beam of which, his arms are stretched 
out) ; second, by decapitation; and, third, by cutting 
the body into pieces. 

The following case of homicide may serve as a 
specimen of the severe nature of the laws in China, 
and at the same time shew the great clemency of his 
Imperial Majesty. 

" Wang-ke-fuh, a husbandman, of the province 
of Gan-hwuy, on coming home from the field, told 
his wife to boil some water, and make him a cup of 


tea. She was busy at the mill, pounding wheat, 
and had not time to make him tea. At this he was 
vexed, and reproved her harshly. But instead of 
submitting, she answered again, and disputed with 
him. Wang-ke-fuh then got into a passion and ran 
towards her to chastise her. She ran to the cook- 
house, and he seized an earthenware tea-pot to 
throw at her head. She evaded it, and his old 
mother at that instant put forth her head to make 
peace, and received the blow on her temple. He 
had all his life been a dutiful son, and he imme- 
diately rendered what assistance he could, and called 
for a doctor to his wounded mother, but she died in 
consequence of the stroke. The kindred agreed to 
treat it as an accident, and prepared a coffin to 
inter the remains ; but the authorities heard of it 
and seized the son. He was tried, and confessed all 
he had done ; but declared that there was no quarrel 
with his mother, nor any intention to hurt her. 
However, he was sentenced to be cut in pieces. 
His case was referred to the Emperor, who sent it 
to the Criminal Board, and they recommended a 
mitigation of the sentence, but their lenity only 
extended to changing it for decapitation." 

The Chinese laws on homicides are as follows : — 
They are called the " Luk s/ia, or six modes of killing 
man. 1. Mow sha, by previous design, whether 
an individual plots with his own heart, or with 
companions. 2. Koo ska, by instant design, wilful 
at the moment, though unpremeditated.. This is 
Chinese c wilful murder,' but English 'manslaughter/ 


3. Oow ska, by fighting in an affray ; chance- 
medley. 4. He sha, by dangerous sports ; such as 
boxing, cudgelling, &c. Duelling would of course 
be included, as a rather dangerous ' gentlemanly' 
play. 5. Woo sha, by mishap, hitting and killing 
the wrong person; one with whom you had no 
quarrel, and to whom you intended no hurt. The 
persons found guilty of any of these crimes, are, by 
law, punished with ' death,' some immediate, others 
after imprisonment. 6. Kwoskih sha, killing by 
misadventure, by pure accident ; as a hatchet flying 
off from its haft. This is censured as carelessness, 
but not considered a capital crime. But Chinese 
law, even in homicides, depends much on the 
station and rank of the two parties. A master 
killing his slave, and a slave killing his master, are 
very differently punished." 

The penal code, entitled l*ew-Le, consists of two 
sections ; the Lew, which is the original draft or 
framework of the law, and the Le, or modern por- 
tion, comprising all the alterations and explanations 
which have been recently made, and which were 
commenced during the Ming dynasty, which pre- 
ceded that at present on the throne. The reigning 
Emperor has ordered a revision of the laws to be 
made every five years, the last edition to be sub- 
stituted for all previous enactments. Here, as in 
ancient Rome, when the meaning of the law is 
doubtful, the case is referred, by writing, to the 
Emperor for his opinion ; and his rescripts, or deci- 
sions, bear the impress and weight of laws, until it 

236 a widow's petition against 

may please himself or his successors to annul them 
by any subsequent act. The edicts of local governors 
are allowed the same authority as laws, and many of 
the regulations which affect both foreign and do- 
mestic commerce have no other origin. Villages 
are in general guided by prescriptive regulations, 
which the influential portion of the inhabitants 
compel the rest to observe. In China the judge 
may sit to hear causes, either by night or by day, 
in private or in public, as it suits himself; counsel 
are not allowed in court, though the parties take 
care to provide themselves in secret. Appeal to a 
higher tribunal is, consequently, the only check 
upon the courts, who are careful, however, that the 
records which they keep, lean to their own side of 
the question. Even in case of defeat, in any dis- 
puted point with foreigners, they are sure to attri- 
bute to their own peculiar goodness and mercy that 
which they were obliged to concede. 

The persevering exertions of Chinese widows in 
seeking judicial revenge for the death of their hus- 
bands is a trait in their character which excites 
peculiar admiration, in the dearth of fortitude and 
feeling which their country exhibits. I annex the 
appeal of the widow of an officer named Selim- 
paou, who was supposed to have met with a violent 
death. "I am now fifty-three years of age. My 
husband on a former occasion went forth from the 
fragrant mountain to suppress an insurrection in 
Hoo-kwang, and received from the Emperor- the 


honour of being nominated one of the Body-guard. 
He again went forth to Cashgar, and for his military 
services received the honour of a Peacock's feather, 
and was promoted to be a member of Military 
Council. During the first moon of the eighth year, 
I received a letter informing me that during the 
eleventh moon of the seventh year, my husband left 
Cashgar, and having travelled as far as Ganse, 
he there sickened and died. I was then at Sze- 
chuen, and waited on the Te-tuh, who told me not 
to wait for the coffined remains of my husband, but 
that he would give me 4000 taels to enable me to 
return to my native Clan. I heard, however, a 
rumour that my husband was put to death by 
stratagem ; others said he was suffocated, and 
therefore I would not accept the money, but de- 
manded the coffined remains. This the Te-tuh 
would not grant, and I was compelled to apply to 
the Tartar General at Sze-chuen, and to the 
Governor of the Province, none of whom would pay 
attention to me, but instead of granting redress 
wrote to the Military Board, that I had become 
mad ; and directed my husband's younger brothers 
to take me home to my native Clan. During the 
fifth moon of the present year I arrived at Gan-se, 
and in a Temple outside the North gate, found a 
coffin with my husband's title and name upon it. 
I removed it to the provincial city, and in conse- 
quence of the Government coffin being made of thin 
wood, I had a shell made for it. During the ninth 


moon I arrived with it at my own home. Having 
cut away the cords with which it was bound, I 
opened the lid, and myself inspected the corpse. 
My husband's two eyes were dug out ; his mouth 
was open ; his face black, and the whole body 
bound round with cloth. On his forehead was a 
wound several inches long made with a sharp 
instrument. It had been stuffed with cotton. The 
marks of blood were black; and when touched 
with the hand were yet moist. When I saw these 
things my distress was indescribable and I did 
not dare to look at any other part. I seek revenge 
for this mysterious death." 

This petition was forwarded to the Emperor, and 
orders were immediately given to the Criminal 
Board to inquire minutely into the circumstances. 

Cutting off a Chinaman's tail is one of the 
greatest insults that can be offered him, and is, 
moreover, considered excessively unlucky: it is 
looked upon ba petit murder, and punished accord- 
ingly. Among the uses to which wealth is put, 
that of procuring substitutes for murderers is one 
of the most extraordinary, though not the most 
uncommon; indeed the lengths to which depra- 
vity is carried is scarcely credible. A belief » 
prevalent among the lower orders, that the gall of 
a human being is very beneficial in supplying that 
courage which nature or education has neglected to 
bestow ; it is therefore m great requisition among 
the cowardly— a very considerable portion of the 


people : the plan which they adopt is that of steep- 
ing grains of rice in the gall, and eating them when 
they are dry. Torture, to extort the confession 
of guilt, or for the extension of punishment, is 
permitted by the laws of China, to a certain ex- 
tent : the avarice or cruelty of the magistrates is 
frequently the cause, not only of its illegal applica- 
tion, but of its infliction, to a degree totally unwar- 
ranted by the laws. It is not unfrequently the 
case that the death of the victim to a false accu- 
sation ensues from the despotism of the local 
authorities, whose introduction of new penalties 
and edicts is sanctioned by the Government. The 
compression of the ancles of men, and of the fingers 
of women, between blocks of wood, is the method 
most commonly used ; though many other contri- 
vances, suggested by the cruelty of the magistrates, 
are often put into practice. Flogging through the pub- 
lic streets is inflicted in a most unmerciful manner: 
the arms of the offender are tied behind his back, 
while the executioner holding the end of the cord, 
lashes him forward to the measured sound of a 
gong. The instrument of punishment is a whip 
of plaited thongs, the bamboo, or split rattan. 

The arrangements in the prisons of Canton, are of 
the most irregular and partial nature ; the wealthy, 
without reference to the character or degree of 
their offences, may command every luxury and 
convenience which their means can procure, or of 
which their confinement will admit ; amusements, 


attendants, and private apartments may all be 
ensured, if they have but the money to purchase 
them ; and they are released from the necessity of 
wearing their chains, except while the ceremony 
of going the rounds is in performance. The 
poorer criminals are, on the other hand, reduced 
to the most pitiable condition, and subject to the 
infliction of every annoyance which the barbarity 
of their jailors can devise. If they are unable to 
pay for " burnt offerings" (of paper) to the God of 
the Jail, they are hung up and flogged without 
mercy, and with little hope of redress; at night 
they are chained down to a board, by the neck, 
wrists, and ancles, amidst the most disgusting 
filth, and exposed to the attacks of rats, which are 
permitted to congregate without molestation : such 
is the horror inspired by this place of unlawful 
torture, that it is generally known by the name of 
Te-yiik, which is equivalent to our word Hell, in 
its worst acceptation. The private prisons, in 
which the police confine persons whom they arrest 
on false charges, for the purpose of extorting 
money, are conducted in a similar way : those who 
resist their demands from inability and disinclina- 
tion, being frequently starved to death, or destroyed 
by the ill usage they receive. There are also jails 
for women, under the surveillance of female police, 
who compel their prisoners, by continued ill treat- 
ment, to submit to the most dissolute habits, that 
they may share the profit of their infamy. In 


Canton, criminal executions are more frequent 
than in any other province in China. The usual 
modes are beheading, and strangulation; but on 
an occasion of peculiar enormity, the condemned 
is cut to pieces, and his head exposed in a cage 
at the top of a pole, to make a suitable impres- 
sion on the minds of the multitude. The last 
is the method invariably adopted in case of a re- 
bellion, and the market-place is the spot chosen to 
carry the law into effect. The criminal is dressed 
in the best clothes he can procure, and kneels with 
his face in the direction of the imperial throne, as 
an acknowledgment of the justice of his sentence. 
Being the last male of a family is considered suffi- 
cient to exempt from capital punishment. 


Fine Arts— Printing— The Drama— Jealousy of the Chinese— Port 
and Measurement Duties — Sources of the Revenue — Expenditure 
— Production and Manufacture of Silk — Emigration — Trades* 
Unions— Opium — Tea— Restrictions on Foreigners— Slavery- 
Blind Mendicants— Charitable Institutions — Foreigners Travelling 
in China. 

The fine arts, which seldom prosper under the 
baneful influence of a despotism, meet with but 
little encouragement in China. The artists of 
Canton, however poor their abilities may be, are 
still superior to those of any other part of the em- 
pire, in consequence of the facility afforded them of 
meeting with foreign paintings. Not long since, 
some ink drawings were made at Peking, of 
engagements in the late war with the Rebel Chang- 
kihur ; these were presented to the Emperor, who 
forwarded them to Canton, to form the subjects of 
paintings by the artists of that city. The English 
were, at the same time, requested to engrave the 
drawings on copper, from which it is inferred, that 
the art of engraving on copper is unknown amongst 
them, or they would not have thus admitted the 
superiority of the " barbarian " foreigners. Kein- 
lung 9 the grandfather of the present Emperor, was 
obliged to have recourse to France for engravings 
of his victories over the Gorkas. The books of the 


Chinese are frequently embellished with ivood-cuts, 
to which, in their hyperbolical fashion, they invari- 
ably give the title of copper plates. 

The application of metal types to the Chinese 
characters was first made in the reign of the Em* 
peror Kung-he. They were held in such estimation 
by Kien-lung, that he gave them the appellation of 
"congregated pearls." Wooden types are also in 
use, but neither description of moveable types has 
ever been carried to any degree of perfection, 
which is attributed to the difficulty they cause of 
tracing the publication of any offensive work to the 
printer; the Governors, consequently, are accus- 
tomed to prohibit the use of them, and thus throw an 
almost insurmountable obstacle in the path to know- 
ledge. Stereotype, on the contrary, not affording the 
opportunities of evasion, is treated with greater 
leniency, and is generally employed. The printing, 
which is thus produced by means of wooden blocks, 
is much neater than that afforded by the " congre- 
gated pearls." The Chinese have no public news- 
papers, if we except the "Imperial Gazette" at 
Peking, and the circulars of provincial Governors, 
which are issued daily, but are scarcely deserving of 
that title. Their contents are confined to accounts of 
the visits which the Governor pays and receives — 
the arrivals and departures of official personages — 
the despatch of treasure boats to Peking — and a 
brief treatment of fires and executions. The naked 
facts are given, unaccompanied by any remarks 


which might tend either to the instruction or 
amusement of the reader. The present Emperor, 
notwithstanding the unhappy condition to which 
knowledge is necessarily reduced by the iron grasp 
of despotism, does not evince a total disregard to 
the progress of literature. On the occasion of his 
visiting the ancient capital Mougden, the " affluent 
metropolis," he treated the literati with great dis- 
tinction, made ample additions to their funds, and 
permitted the election of an increased number of 
graduates. In the examination of Russian official 
students at Peking, his Majesty provided them with 
a theme, and examined the essays which they pro- 
duced on the occasion. He bestowed, at the same 
time, considerable rewards on two Chinese literati, 
for the correctness and facility with which they 
translated some Russian documents. 

The drama is a popular source of amusement in 
China ; it is not, however, rendered the medium of 
enlightening the minds or improving the manners 
of the people, but may be looked upon as a mirror 
in which their vices are reflected with an accuracy 
rtruly degrading. A law exists by which the repre- 
sentation on the stage of emperors, empresses, sages, 
and gods, is deemed illegal, from the tendency which 
such representations would have, to bring the afore- 
said personages into contempt. Individuals, offend- 
ing in this way, are liable to the punishment of one 
hundred blows and a month at the pillory. In the 
teeth of this edict, however, the highest authorities 


in the empire are daily in the habit of witnessing 
such personations, among which the Supreme Deity 
of China is frequently introduced. 

The intercourse of foreign nations with the Chi- 
nese is carried on under every disadvantage, which 
their ignorant pride and vain confidence in their 
own resources can suggest. But the readiness with 
which they yield to every strenuous opposition to 
their exclusive measures, while it points out the 
weakness of their character, affords a convincing 
proof of the prejudicial consequence of too pliant a 
submission to their jealous regulations. Foreigners, 
whom they entitle barbarians, are invariably treated 
as inferiors, and the lowest of the people are incited 
by the language and representations of their Gover- 
nors to conduct themselves with insolence, and even 
violence. All commercial transactions are, or rather 
ought to be, caried on with the Hong merchants, 
who are appointed by and give security to the 
Government. The strangers, who reside in Canton, 
for the arrangement and furtherance of trade, are 
obliged to lodge in the Factories of the Hongs, who 
are particularly enjoined to prevent the slightest 
intercourse with the rest of the natives. Notwith- 
standing their injunctions, a clandestine trade is 
carried on, to a very great extent, with native shop- 
men, who maintain their intercourse under pretence 
of belonging to the merchants' establishments, in 
which they are countenanced by the Hongs, for the 
sake of evading the duties. The latter frequently 


incur the displeasure of Government, by not coming 
to a speedy settlement with foreigners, by which 
they are induced to remain in the country much 
longer than they deem necessary. Sometimes the 
native shopmen evade the law by bribing the lin- 
guists to report the duties in the names of the 
Hongs ; this is eventually a source of great injury 
to the merchants, from the accumulation of duties 
which the shopmen neglect to discharge. Indeed 
it is said that the greater number of these Hongs, 
from various causes, terminate their existence in 

The exorbitant duties, and other heavy expenses 
which are incurred by vessels arriving at Canton, 
occasion the practice of smuggling and illegal eva- 
sion, which, blameable as they doubtless are, lose 
some of their enormity when we consider the des- 
potic and vexatious regulations which are sought to 
be avoided. In addition to the port dues, every 
vessel, without distinction of tonnage, is subjected 
to the payment of a * present* of 1600 taels, from 
which, together with the exaction of linguist and 
Comprador's fees, amounting to 473 dollars, the 
smallest vessel is not exempt. To escape these arbi- 
trary imposts, many ships contrive to receive their 
cargoes without entering either of the ports — Canton 
or Macao. This they are enabled to accomplish 
with impunity, from the facilities which the natives 
afford them. A vessel, whose sole lading is rice, 
is admitted without the exaction of any port dues ; 


a regulation which shews a very laudable anxiety 
on the part of the Government, to secure, at a cheap 
rate, to the poorer classes, a commodity of such 
general consumption. 

The Port Dues in China are levied upon the 
measurement of the vessel, which is ascertained by 
taking the length, from the mizen mast to the fore- 
mast; and the breadth from the two gangways, 
then multiplying the results together and dividing 
by 10. 

The arrangement is into three classes. 

1st class, on all vessels measuring 150 cubits and 

2nd class, 120 to 150. 

3rd class, 120 and under. 

And the duty is as follows, viz. 

Taels. m. c. c. decs. 

1st class . 7 8 7 4 755 per cubit 

2nd class 7 2 3 1 910 ditto. 

3rd class . 5 6 2 335 ditto. 

The Present on all classes of English vessels are 
alike, viz. 1600 taels, 6m. 8c. 3c. ; but on French 
ships, 100 taels more. 


Fort William, 1st Class. 

Taels m. c. c. decs. Taels. m. c. c. 
J3h, ll-H 263 13-7874 755-2072 8 4 

Present, - 1600 6 8 3 

Taels, - 3672 7 6 7 

At 72 per ct. Sp. Dolls. 5101 66 cents. 


Good Success, 2nd Class. 

T»els. m. e. c. decs. Taek. m. c. c. 

Bre^h, 22— 5 } ,48 6 , ~ 7 2 3 ! 91 °- 1073 9 3 9 
Present, - 1600 6 8 3 

Taels, - 2674 6 2 2 

At 72 ct. per Sp. Dob. 37 1 4 75 cento. 

Agnes, .3rd Class. 

B3& f {£1 J "> 7 4 5 6-5062 335-543 9 7 9 
Present, - 1600 6 8 3 

Taels, - 2144 6 6 2 

At 72 perct. Sp. Dolls. 2978 70 cents. 

The cubit is the Chinese covid, equal to 14,625 
decs, inches. 

The Board of Revenue, at Canton, entitled 
Hoopoo, derives its income through a variety of 
channels, which may be enumerated as follows. 
The land-tax ; tax on salt (a monopoly of the Go- 
vernment); a tax on grain has been adopted and 
relinquished at different periods according to the 
diverse views of statesmen, or the exigencies of the 
people ; it was repealed by Kang-he, to benefit the 
latter, and renewed soon after, in consequence of an 
intimation that the corn-dealers alone profited by 
the repeal; fisheries, deeds of houses and lands, 
are also subject to a levy ; as well as all provinces 
in which the precious metals are obtained ; duties 
on the conveyance of goods through the different 
parts of the empire ; in licenses for the sale of reeds, 


tea, and ginseng, which it is a capital crime to col- 
lect without a license ; the sale of honorary distinc- 
tions, and the right to wear the appropriate badges, 
is another means of increasing the revenue; on 
occasions of emergency, other methods are resorted 
to, such as the sale of commissions, and the levy 
of contributions from companies of merchants and 
other bodies. With these resources, the following 
is the expenditure to be met. The incomes of the 
Kings, Princes, Princesses, and Nobles of the Im- 
perial Clan ; the pay of civil and military officers ; 
the army and navy; the building and repair of 
national works, canals, and bridges ; and the ex- 
penses caused by the frequent inundations of the 
Yellow River; largesses also are given to merito- 
rious divisions of the army ; and bounties to the 
poor when distress is caused by excessive rains, 
flights of locusts, famine, or drought. The ex- 
penses of his Majesty are not stated in the Chinese 
work from which the foregoing particulars are 

Of the articles just enumerated, the high duty 
on salt, and tea, renders them most frequently the 
object of interior smuggling; the punishment of 
a contraband disposal of tea is the infliction of the 
wooden collar for three months, and subsequent 
transportation. The quicksilver imported into 
China is used in producing vermilion, in which 
shape it is exported to^ Europe and India, and is 
also forwarded in considerable quantities to Peking, 


Nan-king, and Soo-chow. Quicksilver is likewise a 
production of China, whence it has been occasionally 
exported to England. One fourth of the lead 
imported into China is said to be used in lining the 
tea-chests, &c., which is sent to England alone. 
The camphor tree, which grows in the forests near 
Chin-chew, yields an important article in Chinese 
commerce. It is generally conveyed to Canton by 
the junks : as no ship laden with tea is permitted 
to take camphor on board, that portion of it intended 
for England is usually sent by Singapore; it is 
transmitted also to India, from which, however, the 
greater part of it is ultimately consigned to Europe. 
The camphor tree of Canton does not supply gum, 
but the timber is in great requisition, and is used in 
manufacturing trunks, which are disposed of to the 
ships that constantly arrive there. Sugar is pro- 
duced in the Southern provinces, from which it is 
conveyed to all the other parts of the Empire. The 
chief exportation is made to Bombay, both in the 
raw state, and in candy. 

Silk, which is produced in the different provinces, 
in various quantities and in great diversity of tex- 
ture, is collected in Kwang-tung, in seven crops, 
commencing in the 4th moon, or May, and repeated 
at intervals of a month until the 10th or 11th moon. 
The nature of the first crop is no criterion what- 
ever, as to that of those which succeed it ; they are 
solely affected by the state of the weather and the 
relative health of the insect. The second and third 


crops are, consequently, much superior to the rest, 
as the settled period of the year, at which they are 
collected, is highly favourable to their production. 
In the province of Nan-king, there are but two crops 
which are gathered in the 6th, 7th, and 8th moons, 
the first being far superior in quality to the other, 
and yielded in greater plenty. Tsat-lee and Tay- 
saam are the titles by which they are distinguished; 
but under these denominations great varieties are 
found, to be attributed to the care observed in their 
preparation as well as] to the season. The Tsat-lee 
obtains the highest price, and \s most commonly 
consumed in China, the other being principally 
consigned to Europe, or rather to Bombay and the 
eastern Straits, where it is manufactured for 
European consumption. Small quantities are 
obtained in the vicinity of Canton, the whole being 
collected within a circuit of twenty-five miles round 
the city ; it is the least valuable of any in the 
empire. The difference in the gathering is suffi- 
cient to constitute five classes, the last being so 
exceedingly coarse, that the duty is invariably 
evaded. The leaf which supplies the worm with 
food in the south is from a diminutive shrub, 
whereas, in the northern districts, the mulberry 
tree obtains a considerable height, and resembles 
that which is a native of Europe. Great quantities 
of silk are manufactured in China, both for the 
home and foreign market. 

Emigration is very prevalent among the Chinese 


mechanics, though strictly forbidden by the laws. 
Not being restrained by the love of country, so 
peculiar to most nations, they are often tempted to 
seek in other lands that encouragement which an 
excess of population denies them in their own. 
Singapore appears to be their favourite place of 
destination, four junks having arrived there not 
long ago with 1600 of them on board ; whatever 
place they may select to pursue their avocations, 
they are invariably remarkable for industry and 
skill. By the aid of their services, the trade of 
Singapore is becoming every day of greater impor- 
tance. The junks, which are the means of traffic 
between Canton and this station, are generally from 
250 to 400 tons in burden. One of the largest size 
employs from 80 to 100 seamen ; they leave China 
in January in the height of the monsoon. 

It may be remarked that the Chinese make the 
worst seamen, and probably the best boatmen in 
the world. This observation, which I have had 
abundant opportunity of making, is fully con- 
firmed by the experience of Mr. Gutzlaff, who in his 
voyages along the coast of China, thus speaks, of the 
native sailors employed on board the junks. 

"These sailors are not, usually, men who have 
been trained up to their occupation, but wretches 
who were obliged to flee from their homes ; and 
they frequently engage for a voyage before they have 
ever been on board a junk. All of them, however 
stupid, are commanders ; and if any thing of im- 

trades' unions. 253 

portance is to be done, they will bawl out their 
commands to each other, till all is utter confusion. 
There is no subordination, no cleanliness, no 
mutual regard or interest. The navigation of 
junks is performed without the aid of charts, or any 
other helps, except the compass ; it is mere coast- 
ing, and the whole art of the pilot consists in 
directing the course according to the promontories 
n sight. In time of danger, the men immediately 
lose all courage ; and their indecision frequently 
proves the destruction of their vessel. Although 
they consider our mode of sailing as somewhat 
superior to their own, still they cannot but allow 
the palm of superiority to the ancient craft of the 
'celestial empire.' When any alteration for im- 
provement is proposed, they will readily answer, — 
if we adopt this measure, we shall justly fall under 
the suspicion of barbarism." 

To the boatmen, on the contrary, he gives the 
utmost praise. 

" I have never met with more daring boatmen 
than those from Fuhkeen. With the most perfect 
carelessness, they go, four in number, in a small 
boat, over the foaming billows ; while their larger 
vessels are driven about, and in danger of being 
swallowed up by the sea." 

Trades' unions are common in China, and pecu- 
niary penalties are incurred by such of their 
members as break through the regulations which 
they enact. A dispute arose at one time, between 


the fishmongers of Canton and the boatmen who 
supply them, regarding a change which the latter 
wished to introduce in the weights. The 'street- 
mongers 9 gained their point and fined their op- 
ponents the expense of a theatrical exhibition for 
the public amusement. The fines usually levied, 
are of this nature. 

The use of opium has become so universal 
among the people of China, that the laws which 
render it penal, and the proclamations which send 
forth their daily fulminations against its con- 
tinuance, have not the slightest effect in de- 
creasing the prevalence of so general a habit. It 
is a propensity that has seized upon all ranks and 
classes, and is gradually on the increase, from the 
difficulty of abandoning the inclination when once 
it has been formed. It is forbidden by the laws, in 
consequence of the injurious effect which it has 
upon the moral character of the people, and in the 
edicts of the local magistrates it is decried avowedly 
for the same reason, though the Mandarins them- 
selves notoriously indulge in the practice they so 
loudly condemn. In obedience to the laws, and as 
a nominal observance of their duties, they waste the 
idle artillery of words in official interdiction, while 
they lend in private the aid of their example, or 
urged by other motives than the indulgence of their 
appetites, permit their acquiescence in its use or 
introduction to be purchased by a bribe. To judge 
by the description in these documents of the means 


used to convey it into China, one might suppose it 
was a measure of equal secrecy and danger, but 
the corruptness of the magistrates and the ineffi- 
ciency of the force which they employ, leave but 
little difficulty in the way of its importation. It is 
urged by those, who advocate the traffic in this 
drug, on account of the immense wealth it opens 
to our India possessions, that the consequence 
of its use are by no means so detrimental as stated 
by the Chinese authorities, and a comparison 
is drawn between the use of it in China, and 
that of wine and spirits in European countries. 
It must be admitted, that its effects as described 
in official documents, wherein it is invariably 
entitled, " opium dirt," are somewhat exagge- 
rated ; the more so, perhaps, by those who would 
thus conceal their own indulgence in the forbidden 
luxury ; yet it cannot be denied, that it is of serious 
injury to the constitutions of those who use it, and 
produces, in a great degree, that enervation of 
mind and body which is so adherent to the Chinese 
population. Like dram-drinking, habit but in- 
creases the inclination, which is seldom aban- 
doned but with the life of its victim ; and the in- 
jury which it produces is not a whit the less search- 
ing, because its action is not so apparent. In a 
moral point of view, its evil influence must be con- 
fessed by every disinterested observer. The idle 
and luxurious habits which it creates, if not crimi- 
nal within themselves, pave the way for all those 


vices to which human weakness is subject. The 
Chinese are merely smokers of the opium, unlike 
the Turks, who habituate themselves to chewing it 
in the crude state. Smoking houses abound in 
Canton, and in every town and village in the 
empire : the inhabitants of every class, who can 
furnish themselves with the means to obtain the 
pipe, are seldom without this article of general 
luxury. Its high price, in consequence of prohibi- 
tion, has hitherto confined it to the affluent ; but 
the facilities of traffic, and the extent of the trade, 
render it daily still less expensive. 1 Among the 
means used to decrease its consumption, one lately 
adopted at Canton is not the least singular. A tale 
was written and placarded about the principal 
streets, giving a very minute account of its pre- 
tended manufacture, in which dead mens* bones 
were described as the chief ingredient. 

The natives of the district'Tae-chow-foo employ 
themselves in the plantation of poppy and the pro- 
duction of opium, and so profitable are the results 
which their labours have realized, that the practice 
is rapidly increasing ; so that the real interests of 
agriculture are materially neglected. The opium is 
produced in the following manner: — the seed of 
the poppy is sown in the tenth moon; and in the 
fourth moon of the following year, when the cap- 
sules, or heads, are formed, they are cut open, and 
a white matter extracted. The juice thus obtained, 
is boiled until it forms a clayey substance. There 


are others who produce it, by a similar process, 
froln the various species of the holly-hock. 

The opium trade was at first transacted solely at 
Macao, until the local authorities carried their extor* 
tions to so great a height, that the enterprizing fo- 
reigners sought to shake off their dependance on such 
wretches, by boldly conveying it into the very port 
of Canton, where it continued till 1821 ; when, in 
consequence of the complaints of the Hong mer- 
chants, it was transferred from Whampoa to Lintin, 
at which place the opium vessels have continued 
to maintain their station unmolested. 

" The whole business of the transport of opium 
between Lintin and Canton, is so admirably 
managed, on a fixed scale, that the boats are but 
seldom interfered with, nor are they likely to be, 
so long as the Free Traders can afford to pay the 
Mandarins so much better for not fighting, than the 
Government will for doing their duty. A skirmish 
is got up, every now and then, and a few stones 
interchanged, in a friendly way, as a proof of their 
vigilance ; but no regular attack has been for a 
longtime made; nor, from the better equipment of 
the smuggler, in point of numbers and efficient 
strength, would a contest be lightly hazarded. 
The opium-boats pass and repass before the Fac- 
tories, in open day, in defiance of the express 
orders that no boats of the class to which they 
belong shall be suffered to exist ; and the precious 
drug is landed in the suburbs of the city in full 

4 s 


security. Some of it id at times conveyed by the 
very boats sent down to act against tbe smugglers, 
and to them the smuggling of saltpetre is almost 
wholly confined. The exact rates paid to the river 
Mandarins are not known : the allowance to the 
Lintin one, is one dollar per chest; and, at the 
request of the smugglers, this is paid by them on 
taking away the drug; so that the foreigners 
actually become receivers of the bribe for the 
Government officers." 

Payment is invariably made before the delivery 
of the drug, generally to the foreign merchant at 
Canton, when an order is given on the Captain of 
the vessel where the opium is deposited, and 
which is conveyed thither by smugglers, who 
attend with their boats to receive it. These boats 
commonly pull from thirty to forty oars, but fre- 
quently a far greater number, and are probably 
the finest row-boats in the world. 

At certain periods vessels leave Canton laded 
with presents for the Emperor, of various products, 
both foreign and domestic. The use of the Impe- 
rial flag* on these occasions, preserves them from 
the liability of being searched, and an opportunity 
is thus given for the secret conveyance of the 
drug ; several hundred chests are frequently trans- 

* All boats having a Mandarin on board, whether he happens to 
be dead or alive, so long as his flag is flying, are also exempt from 
the right of search* 

! - 


i > 



mitted in this way, the compliance of the Mandarin 
in charge having been first obtained by a consider- 
able fee. After the opium is landed, the most 
usual method of carriage is in the sleeves, and 
loose dress of the smugglers. The number of 
chests imported into China in 1830 was 14,000,* 
each chest weighing 133±lbs. ; and the average 
quantity of smokeable extract, which is obtained 
is calculated at sixty per cent In one pro- 
vince it ih the custom for the women to indulge 
in the use of the pipe, but in all other parts of the 
empire the habit is not tolerated in any but the 
licentious. The interdictions of the legislature are 
not levelled against its introduction, solely from a 

t The following Table will show the respective yearly supplies of 
the drug, from the commencement of the trade in 1816; and the 
gradual increase since the first importation : — 

































Low. | High. 











































. 3,657,000 















regard for the morality of the people, but also on 
account of the valuable productions of the country 
for which it is taken in exchange. The decrease 
in the Sycee silver, thus occasioned, is a great 
source of annoyance to the ruling powers* The 
severity of the penalty incurred by those who either 
sell or use the " poisonous dirt" is a certain security 
against its infliction, among a people with whom 
the propensity is so general. The following is an 
extract from the law against it, as contained m the 
1 1th vol, of the Penal Code : — 

" Dealers in Opium shall be exposed with the 
wooden collar about their necks one month, and 
then sent to the army on the frontier. Accom- 
plices shall be punished with a hundred blows, and 
transported three years. Those who open shops 
to sell Opium, and entice the sons of respectable 
families to smoke, shall be condemned to death by 
strangling after a period of confinement. Accom- 
plices shall be punished with a hundred blows, and 
be transported three years. Masters of boats, 
constables and neighbours, shall be punished with 
a hundred blows, and three years' transportation. 
Officers of Government at Court, who buy and 
smoke Opium, shall be dismissed from the service, 
receive a hundred blows, and be exposed with the 
collar about their necks two months. Soldiers and 
people who buy and smoke Opium, shall be 
punished with a hundred blows, and exposed with 
.the collar one month " 


The trade in tea is, in all respects, the most im- 
portant ; and the late changes in the charter of the 
East India Company have drawn more attention to 
the subject than it received before. Now that the 
trade is thrown open, people are anxious to know 
whether they are to get better or cheaper tea; and 
an article that penetrates the domestic circle so 
universally, may be supposed to form a topic of 
very general interest. I endeavoured to obtain as 
much practical information respecting the process 
of preparing tea for the market as I could, feeling 
that some authentic statements of that kind would 
be expected from so matter-of-fact a traveller. The 
account which I have put together of the mode of 
drying, packing, and tasting may be fully relied 
upon, as it was procured and drawn up on the spot. 
It may be well, however, to place before my readers 
a passage from an admirable letter addressed by 
Mr. Majoribanks to Mr. Grant on the subject of our 
commercial relations with China, inferring an 
useful introduction to the details alluded to. Mr. 
Majoribanks' great experience on the subject gives 
additional value to these observations. 

" The principal tea provinces — for tea is more or 
less grown in every part of the empire — areFo-kien, 
Keang-nan, and Che-kiang, all maritime provinces, 
and Keang-si. The tea is not even permitted to be 
brought coastwise to Canton in native vessels, but 
is conveyed through the interior, partly by tedious 
and difficult river and canal navigation, partly by 


laborious land carriage, and is, in one instance, 
transported by manual labour over a very high 
range of mountains. Frequent transhipments are 
rendered necessary, and it is subject to these incon- 
veniences for the sole purpose of securing numerous 
and exorbitant transit duties. There is, perhaps, 
no produce of the earth which is exposed to such a 
variety of taxation as a tea-leaf. It yields a profit 
in the first instance to the small farmer by whom 
it is cultivated ; and in the second to the tea mer- 
chant by whom it is manufactured. It is taxed, 
directly and indirectly, five or six times in its 
progress to Canton, where, on its arrival, besides 
yielding large profits to the Hong merchants, and 
paying the Imperial duties, it is subject to the 
impositions of the officers of the local government ; 
it pays an expensive freight to England, and after 
yielding liberal profits to the Company, it falls into 
the merciless hands of the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, by whom it is charged an ad valorem 
duty of a hundred per cent. It is needless to 
point out what prodigious advantages would arise 
from our ships proceeding, as formerly, to the ports 
in the tea provinces, or what an extended consump- 
tion there would be of our manufactures by an 
intercourse with the more northern portion of the 
Chinese empire. I am disposed to regard it as 
presenting the widest field for commercial enter- 
prise, which remains untrodden in the world." 


I will, for the sake of convenience, first ex- 
plain the process of drying and packing ; and then 
those of tasting and weighing — all of which I wit- 

Tea Drying. — The low-priced teas are sent to 
Canton, in a state only fit to reach that place with- 
out sustaining any injury, being but partially dried 
and packed in large tubs, from whence they are 
removed for the process of drying, into barrel- 
shaped baskets, about three feet long and eighteen 
inches in diameter, which are loosely lined with 
coarse china paper. These baskets are then placed 
in the drying-house, and laid on their bulge in a 
long single row, on a wooden frame-work, about a 
foot from the ground, over which there were four 
more rows, in the drying-house we visited, so that 
there were five rows piled up on each side of a 
strong charcoal fire, which was made on a brick 
flooring, the whole length of the building, with 
the baskets as near as they could be placed with 
safety, the fire and the tea occupying nearly the 
whole width of it, which was also very low, for the 
purpose of condensing the heat. We entered while 
the process of drying was in full activity, but we 
could not remain long, the heat being so great that 
we were soon compelled to retreat. The finer qua- 
lities of teas are all prepared for exportation before 
they are brought to Canton, and are dried in a dif- 
ferent manner, which was explained to us, there 
happening to be one of the small apparatus's 


there, by which it is prepared, and which is simply 
thus : — There was an iron basin, about two feet in 
diameter at the top, and nine inches in depth. This 
basin was fitted over a small stove, heated with 
charcoal. When required for use, and after the tea 
was put into the basin, it was continually stirred 
with the hand until the leaves were curled up, 
and thought sufficiently dry. 
• Tea Packing. — I accompanied some friends to 
Gowqua's tea-warehouse, to have the manner of 
packing this article described to me, which I found 
to be as follows : — In the first instance, there was 
a place fitted up in the middle of the warehouse for 
receiving the tea, preparatory to its being packed 
for exportation, viz. fifty feet long, twelve broad, 
and eight high. It had a boarded floor, and sliding 
pannels for the sides, which were removed as the 
tea was reduced in bulk. The lead* used for lin- 
ing to the chests of the bohea and Congo teas, is 
thicker than that which is used for the chests of 
finer teas, and the chests are both larger and 
stronger, with iron clamps at the corners for the 
common teas. It is packed by Chinese labourers, 
who stand in the chest and tread it down with their 
naked feet. The large .chests contain on an ave- 
rage, about 165 pounds of tea. On going into the 
counting-house, at the warehouse, we were each 
presented with a cup of tea, without milk or sugar, 

* The sheet lead used for the tea-chests, is composed of seventy- 
five parts lead, and five parts tin. 


and made by boiling water being poured on a small 
quantity of tea, previously put into the cup ; after 
which it was covered over, during the time it was 
drawing. The saucer was not circular, but similar 
in form to an ordinary snuffer-stand, with a con- 
cavity in the centre of it, for the bottom of the cup 
to fit in. The Chinese are said never to drink the 
green, but always the black teas. 

Tea Tasting. — The following is the mode adopted 
by Mr. Reeves, jun. (tea taster to the British Fac- 
tory) forjudging of the quality of teas, required to 
be purchased for the H. E. I. Company. I accom- 
panied Mr. Reeves to one of the apartments in the 
Factory, round which he had two rows of tea chests, 
one row being full, and the other empty ; so that 
as much of the full one might be turned into the 
empty one as Mr. Reeves thought proper, to exa- 
mine, and select any part of each chest He first 
examines its appearance and smell, after which he 
takes an ounce from every chest, tasting six at a 
time, in as many small tea-pots, by pouring boiling 
water into each, and allowing it to remain five 
minutes ; he then empties them all into the same 
number of cups, and judges of the qualities by their 
colour, smell, and taste. I presume it is almost un- 
necessary to state, that sugar and milk must not be 
used, nor is the tea swallowed. Of course it is 
necessary to be very particular in the quality of the 
water, therefore, Mr. Reeves, sen.,* always caused 

* Mr. Reeres, jun. has only lately succeeded his father. 


the water to be procured from the river at that 
season of the year when it is very high ; and strange 
to say, the superstition of the Chinese induces them 
to perform this duty only on certain days, when the 
number and the day of the month correspond : for 
example, the 5th day of the 5th moon is generally 
the earliest period of the river being swoln by the 
rains ; but, if the water is not high enough then, 
they will wait for the 6th day of the 6th moon ; and 
if that will not do, for the 7th of the 7th moon, by 
which day they are almost certain of succeeding. 
After the water is taken from the river, it is put into 
large jars, where it generally remains for several 
months before it is required to be used, and all the 
extraneous matter has had time to deposit itself, 
consequently it is more pure than any water that 
can be procured at the time it is required. 

Tea Weighing.— The manner of weighing the tea 
is as follows : — The chests are laid out in rows of 
hundreds, when one of the gentlemen of the Fac- 
tory selects five or six chests from each row, from 
which an average of the whole is taken. The Hon. 
Company's tea-taster selects his samples, in a 
similar manner, for judging of the average quality 
of the whole. 

In an article, which appeared some time back in 
the Quarterly Review, the recent alterations in 
the management of our trade with China, were 
described as likely to be productive of the worst 
consequences, so far as the quality of the teas was 


concerned. I subjoin a passage from the article,, 
which appears to have an air of authority, but I 
do not mean to verify or dispute its accuracy : — 
" The evil consequences which we had predicted 
(says the writer) have already begun to show 
themselves. The most respectable of the Hong 
merchants have retired from the business, and the 
rest are either unable or unwilling to advance a 
shilling to enable the poor cultivators of tea to pre- 
pare the usual supply, though 40,000 tons of ship- 
ping were expected at Canton ; but we shall, not* 
withstanding, have some tea, and it is as well that 
our readers should know what sort of tea it will be. 
Our information is from an eye-witness of unques- 
tionable authority, recently arrived in England 
from China. On the opposite side of the river to, 
and at a short distance from Canton, is a manufac- 
tory for converting the very worst kind of coarse 
black tea into green — well-known in Canton by the 
name of wo-ping, and which was always rejected 
by the agents of the East India Company. The 
plan is to stir it about on iron plates moderately 
heated, mixing it up with a composition of tur- 
meric, indigo, and white lead, by which process it 
acquires that blooming blue of plums, and that 
crispy appearance which are supposed to indicate 
the fine green teas. Our informant says, that there 
can be no mistake respecting the white lead,, as the 
Chinese superintendent called it by its common 
name, yuen-fun. At the same time, it is right to 


state, that pulverised gypsum (known by the name 
of shet-kao), is understood by the gentlemen of the 
late Factory, to be employed to subdue a too in- 
tense blue colour given by the indigo. There were 
already prepared, when this visit took place, 50,000 
chests of this precious article, just enough for three 
cargoes of the very largest ships of the East India 
Company. The crafty proprietor told our friend 
and the other visitors, that this tea was not for the 
English, but the American market ; but we shall, 
no doubt, have our full share of it. Nay, some par- 
ticulars lately published in the newspapers render 
it highly probable that the importation of the 
well-doctored wo-ping has already commenced." 

There may be much truth in this statement ; but 
it must be remembered, at the same time, that long 
before the repeal of the monopoly, we had as spuri- 
ous tea in this country, as ever we are likely to have 
again. Competition usually works good for the 
public : — Why should it not in this instance ? 

Foreigners, on arriving at Canton, are not per- 
mitted to take their families on shore, the landing 
of ladies being specially forbidden. They are 
ordered to be taken to Macao and left there till the 
return of the vessel from Whampoa. In 1830, a 
proclamation was issued in consequence of the 
conveyance of a lady from an English ship to the 
Factory at Canton ; the most strenuous exertions 
were commanded to be used " to drive her back" to 
Macao, but the timely preparations which were 


made to oppose such a proceeding, caused all the 
threats of the magistrate to evaporate in smoke. 
About the same time a notice was received from 
the Portuguese Governor of Macao, forbidding, by 
command of the court of Lisbon, the future resi- 
dence of all foreign merchants at that port, without 
a previous permission obtained from Lisbon. The 
people of China have caught the infection of anti- 
pathy to foreign intercourse from their rulers. 
Those Europeans who are adventurous enough to 
break the bounds which are allotted them at Canton, 
sometimes pay very dearly for their excursion. 
A walk round the city walls, a distance of nine 
miles, has at various times been accomplished ; but 
not, in general, without subjecting the persons 
who effected it to the most hostile attacks from the 
cowardly population. Not long since, an English 
Baronet was plundered of almost every article of 
dress, and returned to the Factory in a consequent 
state of nakedness. 

Slavery exists to a great extent in China. In the 
district of Nam-hoy, in Canton province, there are 
about ten thousand slaves. They are distinguished 
as the voluntary slaves, those who sell themselves, or 
are sold by their parents ; and the involuntary, who 
have either been born in bondage, or are consigned 
to it by the Government as a punishment. They are 
hereditary property, and are only permitted to 
wear stated dresses. The penalty incurred by 
beating them to death, which is by no means 


uncommon, is the infliction of sixty blows, and 
transportation for a year and a half. The pay of 
official persons is forfeited, in case their parents 
have been guilty of such an outrage on humanity. 

It is inferred from the mass of wretchedness 
which exists among the people of Canton, that poor 
laws in China, if thert be such, are exceedingly 
limited in their operation. It appears that the 
Parish Police, to whom money is intrusted for the 
use of the poor, are in the habit of appropriating it 
to their own purposes, so that not even misery is 
sacred from the effects of that general want of 
principle which prevails. 

China abounds with beggars, some being so from 
necessity, but the greater part from inclination. 
It is pursued by numbers, as a profession that is 
equally idle and profitable. A string of ten or a 
dozen blind supplicants is often to be met in the 
streets ; and it is said that children are frequently 
deprived of their sight to enable them to follow the 
business to greater advantage. Others appear in a 
more formidable character, and by frequent extor- 
tion at marriages and funerals, render themselves 
subject to severe penalties. This vagrancy of the 
blind, however, appears to be permitted by the 
Government ; for although there is a national 
institution for rendering assistance to them, the 
pecuniary aid is so inadequate to their necessities, 
that the magistrates allow them to beg and sing in 
the streets for the additional means of subsistence. 

widows' fund. 271 

The blind are admitted to the institution by tickets ; 
but, with the usual roguery that distinguishes the 
Chinese throughout all the relations of life, the 
magistrates have frequently had occasion to issue 
proclamations setting forth their suspicions that the 
tickets have been transferred to persons only " half 
blind," with a view to impose upon the Government. 
In 1832, the number of blind persons that assembled 
at the institution to be examined was 2394, and the 
allowance granted to them was four or five mace 
per month : under a shilling a week. 

Besides the institution for the blind, there is one 
entitled Yuh-ying-tang, or foundling hospital, sup- 
ported by Government. It was founded in 1698, 
and rebuilt and enlarged in 1 732. It stands without 
the walls of the city, on the east, near the asylum 
for the blind ; it has accommodations for two or 
three hundred children, and is maintained at an 
annual expense of 2522 taels. The sums necessary 
for defraying the expense of these two establish- 
ments are derived from an impost of 900 dollars on 
every foreign vessel that brings rice to Canton — 
they being exempt from all port dues. 

There is also in the city of Canton, a small fund 
for the relief of widows. It is of recent origin, 
having commenced operations only on the first year 
of the present Emperor's reign. Government unites 
with the gentry in supporting and managing it. It 
is already getting into disorder, and the Leang-taou 
has issued a threatening proclamation to the widows. 


They get about five taels* per annum ; one tael for 
each quarter, and one to pass the new year. The 
number now on the fund is 1600. The complaint 
is, that those who get married sell their tickets 
instead of returning them ; and the friends of those 
who die do the same. This is a sort of parish 
relief, and those who have kindred on the spot do 
not like the exposure and brow -beating, necessary 
to get the alms ; so that the chief applicants are 
widows whose kindred live at a distance from 

There are not any asylums in China for the 
reception of the insane ; if sufficiently quiet, they 
are intrusted to the care of their relations ; but if 
their friends are unable to manage them, the only 
alternative is a prison, where, it may be presumed, 
the treatment they meet with is not of the most 
lenient nature. Should their relatives foil to report 
their insanity to the Government, and the death of 
any person is occasioned by their being at large, 
they render themselves liable to the infliction of a 
certain number of blows. 

There is a Lazaretto on the eastern side of Canton, 
entitled Ma-fung-yuen, or the lepers' garden. It was 
originated and is maintained by Government, who 
have adapted it for the accommodation of a thousand 
persons. Members of the wealthy classes, who 
have contracted the distemper through indulgence 
in vicious habits, are obliged, according to law, to 

* A tael is equal to 6s. 8d. sterling. 


reside in this establishment, though they frequently 
bribe the police for permission to evade it. Those 
of an inferior grade, follow their respective voca-* 
tions during their confinement, and marriages take? 
place among them. The disease is not supposed to 
continue beyond the third generation. 

Although the system of exclusiveness, which 
prevails amongst the Chinese, amounts to a pro^ 
hibition against the entrance of foreigners into th6 
Celestial Empire, there is yet reason to believe that 
the authorities at one period licensed the visits 
of strangers, and even protected them by a specie^ 
of passport, similar to that which is now used under 
the pqlice regulations of Europe. In an ancient 
account, which I find in an early volume of the 
Chinese Repository, given by two Mohammedan 
travellers who passed through the country, the 
existence of this sanction appears to be confirmed. 
" If a man would travel from one place to another, 
, he must take two passes with him, the one from the 
Governor, the other from the eunuch or lieutenant. 
The Governor's pass permits him to set out on his 
journey, and takes notice of the name of the traveller, 
and those also of his company ; the age and family 
of the one and the other ; for every body in China, 
whether a native or an Arab, or any other foreigner, 
is obliged to declare all he knows of himself, nor 
can he possibly be excused the so doing. The 
eunuch's or lieutenant's pass specifies the quantity 
of money, or goods, which the traveller and those 
4 t 


with him, take along with them, and this is done for 
the information of the frontier places, where these 
two passes are examined ; for whenever a traveller 
arrives at any of them, it is registered, that such a 
one, the son of such a one, of such a family, passed 
through this place on such a day, in such a month, 
in such a year, and in such company. And by 
these means they prevent any one from carrying off 
the money or effects of other persons, or their being 
lost ; so that if any thing has been carried off un- 
justly, or the traveller dies on the road, they imme- 
diately know what has become of the things, and 
they are restored to the claimant or to the heirs." 


Religion — Language . 

While the Chinese must be considered in the 
strictest sense of the words a sensual people, it is 
said, notwithstanding, that they are much devoted 
to reading ; that they are not tainted with prejudices 
of any kind (an assertion which, for my own part, I 
am disposed to doubt altogether) ; and that they are 
generally very sensible, and willing to be convinced. 
Perhaps the origin of some of these opinions may 
be traced to the absence of all state religion in 
China. In our understanding of the expression, 
there is no state religion in China, since there is no 
endowed establishment. The Government does not 
pay any priesthood ; nor do the supreme autho- 
rities recognize any contributions of that description, 
except some gratuities to the imperial chaplains in 
ordinary. The religion of the Chinese, like that of 
the Americans, depends entirely upon the voluntary 
system. The State neither acknowledges such 
claims, nor enforces them. The want of religious 
institutions, fostered by the Government, has the 
inevitable effect of making the people indifferent to 
religion altogether, which creates one of the great dif- 
ficulties that have hitherto impeded all attempts at 
the introduction of Christianity. Although, on the 


other hand, it presents a facility to the labours of the 
Missionaries, in so far that the Chinese, not being 
prejudiced in favour of any particular religion, are 
open to the temptation of adopting that which might 
be made to appear the most desirable in a worldly 
point of view. They will go whichever way their 
interest points, and if Christianity could be made 
attractive in that sense, or as holding out to them any 
inducements of a pleasurable nature, there would 
not be much difficulty in persuading them to become 

The fact that there is no state religion in China, 
a fact which is not very generally known, leads to 
more important conclusions than it may appear to 
carry at first sight. In Europe, religion, or an 
established church, is held to be an essential ele- 
ment in Government. Buonaparte called the 
priests, the Moral Police. In our courts of justice, 
and throughout the whole machinery of our legal 
and social relations, oaths are considered as the 
necessary tests, obligations, and qualifications, by 
which individuals are held responsible to each other 
and to the state. In China there are no oaths. 
Law is administered without having recourse to 
any ordeal of that nature. The state tolerates, but 
does not support a priesthood. It tolerates three 
sects — Taouism, Budhism, and Mohammedanism — 
but they have no endowments. Confucianism 
cannot be regarded as a religion, but as a system of 
morals. Although there is no established code of 


belief, there is an universal regard paid to idols, and, 
on that account, Christianity is especially inter-, 
dieted, because it forbids idol-worship, and re- 
presses the indulgence of the vicious passions. But, 
although there is no priesthood, the Government 
sets its example of idolatry, which is copied by the 
people. The magistrates may be regarded as the 
only priests. There are numerous instances, con- 
stantly occurring, of the magistrates going ou 
public occasions to worship some neighbouring 
idol, and when the ceremony is over, they sit down 
to a good dinner, which casts a sort of mockery 
oyer their previous proceeding, that deprives it of 
much of its solemnity and impressiveness in the 
eyes of the people ; so that, while some forms of 
religious observances are attended to, no care is 
taken to generate in the minds and affections of the 
community a proper sense of religious duty. 

The officers of the Government, in their indivi- 
dual capacity, affect the most extravagant piety. 
At Macao, for example, the Port Admiral instituted 
a subscription, commencing himself with a donation 
of 100 dollars, for the purpose of rendering public 
honours to the " Queen of Heaven," and all the 
inferior officers and commercial people, down to 
the lowest grade, flocked in with their subscriptions. 
The Queen of Heaven possesses a temple on a little 
rocky promontory, at Barfort, and there her ladyship 
stands about a foot high on the summit, the ap- 
proach to which is up some winding steps, the face 


of the rock being diversified with fantastic figures 
of distinct gods, divine stones, &c. On a high rock, 
above all, there are certain characters engraven on 
the stone — Tae-yin — which signifies " The great 
one/* meaning, it is understood, the first cause ; 
but whether the first cause be intellectual or phy- 
sical, has not yet been determined by the ethical 
philosophers of China. On the occasion to which 
I particularly allude, a new image was dedicated to 
her ladyship, and also to the minor divinities, the 
old ones having been partly consumed by fire. 
When the ceremony was completed, the committee 
of building and repairs issued a printed paper, 
inviting the gods and goddesses to return to 
their statues, when the eye of the image should 
become vivified by the touch of blood — according 
to the ancient Mosaic notion that the life is in the 
blood. For eight or ten days subsequently, crowds 
of people of all ages and conditions thronged to the 
temple, bringing with them every variety of offering; 
and playing, in street procession, gongs, drums, 
cymbals, lutes, &c. Pastry, fowls, young animals, 
fruits, wines, &c, were offered up; young girls were 
carried on tables, personating the nymphs of the 
forests, and boys galloped forward on horseback. 
The Court of Comus never presented so grotesque 
an assemblage as this Court of the Queen of 
Heaven. Her ladyship was a young woman of the 
province of Fokien, who had been deified before the 
accession of the reigning family ; and of late yea» 


the Emperor, whose province it is to sanction new 
divinities, has deified another girt, who was said, 
during the Sung dynasty, to have expended her 
fortune in endeavouring to raise an embankment 
to keep out the sea ; but, failing, threw herself into 
the current, and was drowned. 

Although there is no state religion in China, and 
the priesthood cannot, therefore, be said to exercise 
any direct control by virtue of their office, the 
Confucionist sceptics possess extraordinary influence 
over the people. They are generally the best 
instructed, and, for that reason, are advanced to 
the important offices of Mandarins. They deny 
the independent existence of spirits, and maintain 
that death is annihilation. Every thing ceases with 
death, and universal darkness succeeds. The neces- 
sary corollary from these doctrines is— that respon- 
sibility does not extend beyond this life — and the 
practical consequence of entrusting power to the 
bands of such persons is a system' of complete 
despotism, not only over the personal rights of the 
community at large, but over the mental liberty of 
the people. They deny the right of private judg- 
ment, and maintain, in plain terms, that the un- 
educated — that is, the mass of the people, have no 
right to think, but should bow implicitly to those 
who think for them. 

It will be sfeen from these observations that 
materialism is the religion of China. The material 
universe, typified through all conceivable agencies, 


is the Object of Worship. When' the high- priest 
worships heaven, he wears a robe of azure, to 
represent the sky : when he worships the earth, 
his robe is yellow, to express the soil : for the sun 
£e wears a flaming robe of red ; and propitiates 
the moon in pale white. On these occasions, the 
Emperor and nobles, and centenary of official hiero- 
phants, appear in splendid court dresses. The same 
typical spirit pervades the whole. The altar in- 
tended for the worship of heaven is round, that 
being the shape they attach to the firmament-— the 
altar of the earth square, from I presume, the same 
excellent reason : and so on. All these facts, which 
plight be multiplied into details which would only 
weary the patience of the reader, bear evidence to 
the one important point that materialism is the 
great feature of the Chinese faith. 
, It. is difficult to conceive that there should be 
consistent with this system of worship, a clearly 
defined doctrine of rewards and punishments, in 
which the various kinds of criminality are defined 
and proscribed, and the practical virtues pointed out 
.and enforced. Yet, there is such a code, and it is 
universally received throughout China, It must 
,be observed, however, that the rewards and punish- 
ments do not extend beyond this life. There is 
nothing promised for hereafter. but final extinction.; 
and the grand punishment is that the offended 
divinities will shorten the term of the lives of the 
sinners. If a man violates any of the ordinances, 


he must expect that his days will be numbered, and 
should the divine vengeance not be satisfied with 
the portion of time it is thus enabled to cut off, the 
remainder is to be exacted from the relatives and 
heirs of the deceased. In this creed of good and 
evil, the enumeration of crime is remarkably 
minute, and sometimes descends into the most 
petty and ridiculous details ; but on the whole, it 
describes and divides the relative duties of men 
with considerable force, brevity, and correctness. 
This curious document is attributed to the founder 
of the Taou sect, who was contemporaneous with 

It does not appear, however, that the system of 
rewards for good conduct, and punishment for bad, 
is very strictly followed by the government, in its 
dealings with the people. The Emperor seldom 
extends any lenity to the guilty, and considers that 
he acts with great forbearance if he commutes the 
barbarous punishment of being cut to pieces, to the 
less excruciating death of decapitation. In fact, 
while the moral code inculcates a system of rewards 
and punishments, (which, however inferior and in- 
consistent it must appear in reference to the Christian 
dispensation, is still proportioned to its objects, and 
agreeable to the general sense of right and wrong,) 
the government of the country violates at will, all 
obligations, human and divine. 

The chief functionary of religion in China is 
the Emperor himself: he is the High Priest, the 


" pontifex maorimus." Of inferior rank to him are 
the kingg, nobles, and the civil and military officers. 
A sect of philosophers, called the Joo-Keaou, have 
monopolized to themselves the union of the civil, 
and sacred functions. On the occasions of grand 
state worship, neither priests nor women are admit- 
ted* The mystery is a thing for the chosen classes. 
Nor are the empress and the imperial concubines, 
princesses, &c. permitted to take any part in the 
ceremonies, except when the sacrifice to the 
patroness of the silk manufacture takes place by 
itself. The ceremonies consist in bowing, kneeling, 
and knocking the head against the ground, or, as 
they are called in Chinese, pae, kwei, how. The 
Emperor alone is exempt from the necessity of 
knocking his head against the ground. The Im- 
perial Majesty of China, who demands from all the 
monarch* of the earth similar marks of submission, 
refuses to offer them to the divinities. He sub- 
stitutes for the nine knoekings of the head the 
easier prostrations of nine bows. 

If we may judge, however, by the phraseology of 
the following document, his Majesty retains the 
expression, although he does not fulfil the form of 
the ceremony. This document is a prayer for rain 
which was written by his Imperial Majesty Taou- 
kwang, and offered up on the 28th day of the 0th 
moon, of the 12th year of his reign. (July 25th, 

" Kneeling, a memorial is hereby presented, to 


cause affairs. to be heard. 'Oh, Alas!' Imperial 
Heaven, were not the world afflicted by extraoor* 
dinary changes, I would not dare to present extra- 
ordinary services. But this year the drought is 
most unusual. Summer is past, and no rain has 
fallen. Not only do agriculture and human beings 
feel the dire calamity, but also beasts and insects, 
herbs and trees almost cease to live. 

" I, the minister of Heaven, am placed over man* 
kind, and am responsible for keeping the world in 
order, and tranquillizing the people. Although it 
is now impossible for me to sleep or eat with com* 
posure; although I am scorched with grief, and 
tremble with anxiety ; still, after all, no genial and 
copious showers have been obtained. 

" Some days ago, I fasted, and offered rich 
sacrifices, on the altars of the gods of the land and 
the grain ; and had to be thankful for gathering 
clouds, and slight showers, but not enough to cause 

" Looking up, I consider that Heaven's heart i* 
benevolence and love. The sole cause is the daily 
deeper atrocity of my sins ; but little sincerity, and 
little devotion. — Hence I have been unable to move 
Heaven's heart, and bring down abundant bless- 

"Having respectfully searched the records, I 
find that in the 24th year of Keen-lung, my Im- 
perial grandfather^ the high, honourable, and pure 
Emperor reverently performed a ' great snow ser- 


vice.' I feel impelled, by ten thousand considera- 
tions, to look up and imitate the usage, and with 
trembling anxiety, rashly assail Heaven, examine 
myself, and consider my errors; looking up, and 
hoping that I may obtain pardon, I ask myself, — 
whether in sacrificial services I have been dis- 
respectful ? Whether, or not, pride and prodi- 
gality have had a place in my heart, springing up 
there unobserved? Whether, from the length of 
time, I have become remiss in attending to the 
affairs of government ; and have been unable to 
attend to them with that serious diligence, and 
strenuous effort, which I ought ? Whether I have 
uttered irreverent words, and have deserved repre- 
hension ? Whether perfect equity has been attained 
in conferring rewards, or inflicting punishments? 
Whether in raising mausoleums and laying out 
gardens, I have distressed the people and wasted 
property ? Whether in the appointment of officers, 
I have failed to obtain fit persons, and thereby the 
acts of government have been petty and vexatious 
to the people? Whether punishments have been 
unjustly inflicted or not? Whether the oppressed 
have found no means of appeal ? Whether in per- 
secuting heterodox sects, the innocent have not been 
involved ? Whether or not the magistrates have 
insulted the people, and refused to listen to their 
affairs ? Whether in the successive military opera- 
tions on the western frontiers there may have been 
the horrors of human slaughter, for the sake of 


imperial rewards? Whether the largesses bestowed 
on the afflicted southern provinces were properly 
applied; or the people were left to die in the 
ditches? Whether the efforts to exterminate ojr 
pacify the rebellious mountaineers of Honan and 
Canton, were properly conducted ; or whether they, 
led to the inhabitants being trampled on as mire, 
and ashes ? — To all these topics to which my 
anxieties have been directed, I ought to lay the 
plumb-line, and strenuously endeavour to correct 
what is wrong; still recollecting that there may 
be faults which have not occurred to me in my 

" Prostrate I beg Imperial Heaven, Hwang Teen 9 
to pardon my ignorance and stupidity ; and to 
grant me self-renovation, for myriads of innocent 
people are involved by me, a single man. My sins 
are so numerous, it is difficult to escape from them. 
Summer is past and autumn arrived; to wait 
longer will really be impossible. Knocking head 
I pray Imperial Heaven to hasten and confer 
gracious deliverance — a speedy and divinely bene- 
ficial rain ; to save the people's lives ; arid in some 
degree redeem my iniquities. Oh, Alas ! Imperial 
Heaven, observe these things ! Oh, Alas ! Imperial 
Heaven, be gracious to them. I am inexpressively 
grieved, alarmed, and frightened. — Reverently thi» 
memorial is presented." 

At eight o'clock on the same evening that this 
prayer was offered up, the rain began to fall in sweet 


and copious showers ; which continued for several 

For this manifestation of heavenly compassion, 
the Emperor in an order published, expresses his 
deep devotion, and intense gratitude, and the 2nd 
of August was appointed as a day of thanksgiving. 
Six kings were directed to repair to the sacred altars, 
respectively dedicated to heaven; to earth; to the 
gods of the land and grain ; to the gods of heaven; 
to the gods of earth, and the gods of the revolving 

Connected with these ceremonies are certain 
punishments for the neglect of due preparations, or 
perfect victims, &c. The punishment is either for- 
feitures of salary for a month, or a specified number 
of blows with a bamboo, which, however, can be 
transferred to any body else's shoulders upon the 
payment of a very small douceur. Indeed, all 
criminal responsibility in China may be transferred 
by the force of bribery : and a rich man who is 
Condemned to death for murder, may find a substi- 
tute for a consideration. 

The Chinese — whose mode of worship cannot be 
be considered to involve any particular form of 
faith or doctrine — possess no generic term to signify 
religion. They not only want religion, but a 
word to express it. The word keaou> which means 
to teach, or the things taught, doctrine or instruc- 
tion, applies with equal force and propriety to all 
the sects, and to the ethics of Confucius : as well 


also as to Christianity and Mohammedanism. But 
they do not use this word when they mean to direct 
attention to that form of worship which is practised 
by the authorities, and which cannot be called a 
state religion ; nor, indeed, any religion at all, 
since it consists solely in rites and ceremonies* 
Yet, although it is certainly a bodily service, a 
mere organization of external forms, it implies 
obscurely assent or submission to some opinions ; 
but what those opinions may be, or whether they 
be correct or incorrect, does not enter into the 
system. It is to be presumed that when men bow 
before an altar, and bring offerings to the Idols, 
they must mentally refer to some notion of the 
Divinity ; but that is all that can be gleaned from 
the usages of the Chinese. The religion, as it is 
followed at court and by the authorities, is explained 
in a code of laws under two distinct heads : the 
one containing certain rules of decorum, by which 
are signified the rites and ceremonies: and the 
other the sacrifices and offerings. We gather from 
these records that the material world, in whole and 
and in parts, is the object of adoration ; and that, 
subordinate in importance, are the celestial and 
terrestrial gods and infernal spirits. They worship 
also the work of their own hands, not only as it 
represents the divinities, but when its productions 
are used for earthly purposes — such as flags, ban- 
ners, and cannon. 


The language of the Chinese is as intangible as 
their religion. They have a language unquestion- 
ably, but it is extremely difficult to convey a satis- 
factory idea of its elements. In all other languages 
the student has a foundation upon which he com* 
mehces ; in the Chinese he has none, — he grasps 
the air. If an Englishman sets about the task 
of learning the Italian, German, or any other 
language, he finds an alphabet which, throughout 
its various combinations into words, he is enabled 
gradually to use, by referring it, as he proceeds, to 
the original standard furnished to him by his own 
language ; but in the Chinese there is no alphabet. 
The characters, an erudite philologist observes, 
present nothing to the eye by which their pronun- 
ciation can be ascertained. Every word has a 
distinct and settled character of its own ; nor is it 
affected by the number, case or gender of the 
nouns ; or the mood, tense, or person of the verb. 
Throughout these inflections, as we would call 
them in other languages, the terminations remain 
unchanged. In fact there are no inflections what- 
ever in the Chinese language. The work of 
declension and congujation is affected in the 
Chinese by separate monosyllables. Thus, while 
the communication of the written language in the 
ordinary way is rendered extremely difficult, the 
acquisition of the spoken language is greatly 
facilitated by the remarkable simplicity of its 
construction. The written and spoken languages 


are perfectly distinct from each other. I will 
endeavour to explain their differences ad clearly ad 
I can, availing myself of such authorities as appear 
to be authentic and conclusive. 

Originally, the written language seems to have 
been formed by rude representations of objects of 
sense. In the course of time, as necessity or, 
perhaps, the dawn of a species of civilization, urged 
the Chinese forward in the arts of life, these symbols 
were classified. They were resolved into eight 
classes, — numbers, celestial objects, terrestrial 
things, man, animals, plants, human productions, 
and all doubtful things that did not properly come 
under any of the previous heads. The number of 
radicals embraced under these divisions are dif- 
ferently stated ; but, perhaps, the best authority 
extant is that which fixes them at 373. Out of 
these, 214 symbols were selected as keys, and so 
placed at the heads of the classes of words in the 
Chinese dictionaries. They consist entirely of 
strokes of the pen, varying in number from one to 
eighteen, and one or more of these characters enter 
into the formation of every word. But each of the 
original characters possesses in itself integral 
properties— it has a pronunciation, an use, and a 
meaning of its own. These characters are again 
divided by the Chinese philologists into six classes, 
1st, those that have a resemblance to the object, 
as horse, house, &c. 2nd, those that describe a 
quality, as black, large, &c. 3rd, those that express a 

4 u 


combination of ideas, or, rather, perhaps what we 
would call a complex idea. 4th, those that exhibit 
in one portion the idea, and in the rest the sound. 
5th, those that convey a contrary sense by the 
inversion of the character ; and 6th, those that 
are metaphorical and allusive. From the 214 
elements spring about 1600 primitives, formed of 
various combinations of the radicals, and these 
produce from three to seventy-four derivatives, 
each of which constitute the written language of 
the Chinese. 

It is not very easy to comprehend the combina- 
tions by which the characters are so united as to 
express the full purpose intended in each word; 
but it is sufficiently evident, that the system, if it do 
not actually realize a species of philosophy in the 
use of language, suggests some very profound 
principles in its application. Thus, under the 
element or key, which signifies heart, says Mr. 
Barrow, we shall find all the characters arranged, 
expressive of the sentiments, passions and affections 
of the mind ; as grief, love, joy, hatred, anger, &c, 
and so on through the whole vocabulary. From 
this hint of the formation of the words it will be 
understood how, of the 40,000 characters to be 
found in the standard Chinese dictionary, 60 of the 
elements govern no less than 25,000. 

At first, the characters were symbolical, repre- 
senting objects familiar to the eye ; but their 
habit, and expedition in writing have gradually 


deteriorated them, and sunk them into abbreviatives 
in which they lose much of their clearness. One 
or two examples may suffice to explain the nature 
of the Chinese characters, and the way in which 
they are used : a hand and staff united, denote a 
man ruling in his family, or afather : — an enclosure 
and a man, a prisoner ; to flatter, is satirically com- 
posed of words and to lick; levity, by a girl and 
thought; and fortitude, by a knife piercing the heart 
and to bear. These instances will shew the hiero- 
glyphical and representative nature of the Chinese 
characters. It is necessary to observe, however, 
that modern innovation, produced no doubt, by the 
necessity of adapting their writing to the demands 
of despatch, have produced great* changes in the 
formation of these hieroglyphics, which are not now 
nearly so emblematical as they were formerly. The 
Chinese have different styles of writing, distinguish- 
ed by names, such as the plain hand, the running 
hand, the free hand, the antiquated character, and 
the seal character, which last is the only one that 
is circular. In writing they use a hair pencil, 
commence where Europeans would end, and write 
in separate columns from top to bottom. 

The colloquial language is distinguished for pecu- 
liarities, quite as striking and as much contrasted 
with all other languages, as those of the written 
language. There are, according to Dr. Morrison, 411 
distinct monosyllables, each of which begins with a 
consonant, and terminates with a vowel, or liquid, 


or the double consonant ng : in the employment of 
these, there are four modifications of sound, or in- 
tonations, varying according to the signification or 
application of the syllables, which extends the 
number to 1644. Beyond this point of change, 
there is no further inflection whatever, and the 
same monosyllable, like some harlequin-power in 
language, takes all the parts of noun, substantive, 
and adjective, verb and participle, agreeably to the 
demands of the sentence into which it is intro- 
duced, without suffering any further alteration. 
One writer on the Chinese language, calculates that, 
taking the number of characters at 40,000, and the 
monosyllables at 411, there are nearly 100 words 
that carry precisely the same sound, although they 
bear entirely different meanings ; and 33 that sound 
nearly alike, the meaning of which is also totally 
different. From these hints of the internal construc- 
tion of the Chinese language, some slight idea may 
be gleaned of its native ambiguity, of the diffi- 
culty of arriving at a full knowledge of its resources, 
and penetrating its spirit. I believe that very few 
Europeans have ever acquired a complete mastery 
of its subtle refinements, for the combinations are 
so numerous, and the collocation of the sentences 
consequently so embarrassing, that it requires a 
gerious devotion of time, and considerable practice, 
to obtain facility in using it. Even the Chinese 
themselves, when they read it aloud, are frequently 
compelled to atone for the deficiencies, or mysteries 


of the written language, by some equivalent and 
expressive action : but, in conversation, they sup- 
ply all that is wanted by synonymes, which are 
ultimately resolved into proper words by habit, 
rendering the language, as Mr. Myers, in his clever 
pamphlet on this subject, observes, in " some de* 
gree polysyllabic." In China, as in other countries, 
the pronunciation differs materially in different 
districts; so that a foreigner who should acquire 
the pronunciation of Corea, or Japan, would be 
scarcely understood in the Indian Archipelago, or 
Cochin China. The best mode is the Mandarin 
tongue, which is considered to be the most polished, 
and which may be said, if such a phrase can be 
employed, to fix the standard. But, the written 
language is not subject to local modifications of 
this description. It is the same every where, and 
is universally intelligible. 

It will be seen at once, that the grand point of 
difference between the Chinese and all other lan- 
guages, and that feature which, in fact, divorces it 
from all relationship with other tongues, and in- 
sulates it from the rest of the world, is its utter 
want of grammar. As the verb is unchangeable 
through all its moods and tenses, and the noun re- 
mains unaltered, whether it be the 'subject, or the 
object of the verb ; so etymology, syntax, and pro- 
sody, are entirely unknown to the Chinese. They 
have no grammar whatever. The only law that 


governs the sense of the immutable syllables, is 
position. That which we should call the part of 
speech, or the part of the verb, is, in the Chinese, 
determined, not by any modification of its termina- 
tion, but by the relation it bears to the rest 
of the sentence. In the use of the noun, those 
nouns that relate to visible objects, are distinguished 
by the prefix of a numeral, which could not be 
rendered into our language without confusing the 
meaning, or making it appear absurd; and the 
verbs are designated by auxiliary signs, which are 
prefixed, or affixed, according to circumstances. 
The idioms of the Chinese, are, perhaps, the most 
singular features in 'their language. But the 
traveller must become, as it has been expressed, 
acquainted with the mind of China, or,, as Voltaire 
said of the English, he must learn to think in the 
language, before he can enter, into the spirit of their 
colloquial phrases. 

One writer upon the Chinese language observes, 
with great truth, that the uniformity and unvary- 
ing character of the written language, has contri- 
buted, in some measure, to the unity of the Empire : 
and there can be little doubt, that were there not 
some such bond of intelligence amongst a people 
equal in number to the inhabitants of the whole of 
Europe, and spread over so vast a space, in scat- 
tered and diverging communities, the means of pre- 
serving them in one common interest, could not be 


certain, or permanent. To their written character, 
I, therefore, for one, am disposed to attribute much 
of that universality of feeling, prejudice, and na- 
tionality, by which they are everywhere distin- 
guished. Those who have thoroughly examined 
the merits of the written language, declare, that, 
in consequence of its being freed from all the 
smaller particles, and superfluous expressions, that 
are used in the colloquial tongue, it flashes upon 
the mind at once; the muscles appearing, as it were, 
without the flesh, and the vigorous anatomy of 
meaning being rendered infinitely more clear and 
complete, than it could be in alphabetic language. 
This much, however, may be remarked with con- 
fidence, that, whether the language contain inhe- 
rent beauties to reward the labours of the inquirer, 
or the literature of the Chinese sufficient stores to 
induce him to prosecute, with perseverance, a task 
confessedly so difficult, it is still the duty of every 
person concerned in our Chinese relations, who 
may happen to possess sufficient leisure for the un- 
dertaking, to embark in a diligent study of the 
tongue. In the first place, it would greatly faci- 
litate British intercourse with the East; — in the 
second, it would enable us to pursue, with better 
success, our researches into Chinese history, laws, 
and customs ; and, in the third, and above all, it 
would enable us to diffuse, by way of translation, 
throughout the entire empire, a knowledge of our 


own literature, our laws, and our religion. These 
motives ought to be strong enough to tempt the 
student from other, and less profitable occupations, 
and to draw him into a study from which hundreds 
of thousands of men could hardly fail to derive last- 
ing benefits. 


Outlines of Chinese History. 

The early annals of the Chinese are certainly the 
most apocryphal in the world. It is impossible to 
tell where fiction ends, and truth begins ; or rather 
to detect the few incoherent historical facts that lie 
scattered in the mass of fabulous crudities. It 
would be quite beside my purpose— which is to give 
as intelligible a narration as I can of the chief points 
of Chinese history — to encumber the text, and harass 
the reader with a display of the barbarous names 
that are accumulated in the ancient chronology of 
the Chinese. My object is to avoid the ambiguity 
that must necessarily arise from a loose statement 
of those incongruous legends to which the Chinese 
are in the habit of referring all the glories of their 
antiquity ; and to trace in a brief space, and with aa 
little confusion as possible, their progress from the 
earliest period, authenticated by credible historians, 
to the present time. We shall find, on a review of 
the whole, two facts worthy of being distinctly 
remembered: first, that the Chinese have, from 
the foundation of their empire to this hour, been 
distinguished by a vain-glorious, and self-abiding 
spirit, that has diffused itself throughout their 
manners, customs, and institutions; and, second, 


that they are in all essential particulars the same 
people in the nineteenth century, that they were in 
the age of Confucius, who lived five centuries and 
a half before Christ : an extraordinary fact, which is 
referable in a greater degree than is, perhaps, gene- 
rally perceived, to the boastful and obstinate spirit 
above alluded to. 

The first regular attempt that was made to reduce 
to something like order, the cumbrous and scattered 
materials of Chinese history, was the work of Con- 
fucius. He had little to deal with, except the float- 
ing traditions of the time. Before he lived, there 
were no annalists. The mere voice of the trans- 
mitted legend, and, perhaps, some fragmentary 
records, pompous, inflated, and unnatural, were the 
only authorities to which he could refer. Out of 
these he created a history, which it is needless to 
observe, owed its principal charm to his own inven- 
tion ; and, in order to obtain for it the reverence of 
the people, he threw back the origin of the empire 
into the mists of the remotest antiquity. The 
Chinese, flattered by the primeval chaos of their 
birth, believed the cheat, and continue to hold it 

There is no doubt, however, that China is a very 
ancient empire; although it is now impossible 
to find with precision the period from whence 
their veritable history commences. They divide 
the whole period of their history into the dynasties 
that successively occupied the throne, an arrange- 


ment that appears to be clear enough, in so far as the 
naked chronology is concerned, but which is quite 
inadequate to satisfy the enquirer who wishes to 
determine the great epocha of their career. A 
division into dynasties shews nothing more than a 
list of the imperial families, illustrating the events 
that swept them from the seat of power ; while a 
division into the eras that produced great changes 
would exhibit a succession of land-marks to guide 
us over the crowded scene with security, and per- 
spicuity. Mr. Gutzlaff, in his sketch of Chinese 
history, adopts the latter plan, and divides the whole 
into four eras, which he calls the Mythological Era, 
the Ancient History, the History of the Middle Ages, 
and the Modern History. This is a division, cer- 
tainly, but it does not seem to be much more satis- 
factory than that of the Chinese themselves. It 
would have been better to have discarded altogether 
the fabulous trifling of the early legends, and to 
open the first page with the birth of Confucius, 
who, however he may have imposed upon the 
credulity and vanity of his followers, was un- 
doubtedly a man of great powers of mind, and the 
first person who exercised an influence, in the for- 
mation of a consistent account of the empire. 

The first Emperors of China — as they are com- 
memorated by tradition — appear to have been in 
some measure an emanation from heaven. It is 
not easy to decide whether they were really born in 
the clouds, or on the earth j or whether the rhapso- 


dies they bequeathed to posterity in the shape of 
laws, and moral lessons, are oracular mysteries, such 
as the priests of Isis dealt in, or the irresponsible 
ravings of insanity. Several Emperors succeeded 
each other, throughout the unknown time, when 
the empire was* growing up, as it were, from in- 
fancy ; and each of these was distinguished for some 
particular trait which stamped his reign with glory 
or disgrace. One Emperor, for example, deter- 
mined the seasons, and introduced order into the 
elements ; another, who was called the Divine Hus- 
bandman, taught his people the arts of agriculture, 
medicine, and music, while his Empress introduced 
the manufacture of silk ; leaving, in fact, but little 
for posterity to discover or improve ; a third com- 
posed a song, and was remarkable as a man, the 
prevailing element of whose nature was metal ; a 
fourth rectified the calendar of his predecessors ; 
and a fifth could see the most distinct objects, and 
possessed also the marvellous faculty of understand- 
ing, by a species of intuition, the most abstruse 
things. And if the Chinese historians are to be 
credited, all these wonders existed before the Flood, 
and the empire was at that time fully as extensive 
as it is at the present moment, sweeping from 
Cochin-China to Tartary ; and to the eastward, 
limited only by the ocean ! 

But, passing from the reigns of these ambiguous 
Emperors, who seem to have done things, over 
which the higher intelligences of their mythology 


must have watched with surprise, we arrive at the 
reigns of two emperors, whose lives we derive from 
Confucius himself, and who gave an impulse to the 
character of the people, and their form of govern- 
ment, that has not yet ceased to he felt. As we 
call Aristides the Just, or Alexander the Great, or 
Philip the Bold, by parlance, so we might call 
Yaou and Shun, the Virtuous. The glory of their 
reigns was the glory of a stern virtue which infused 
itself into all their actions and doctrines. But 
Confucius is open to the suspicion of having 
created ideal characters for the sake of impressing 
upon his countrymen the beauty and importance of 
virtue. His Yaou and Shun are, probably, no more 
real representatives of the excellence he attributes 
to them, than the Machiavel's Prince is of all the 
wily qualities of consummate intrigue. That there 
were such rulers is not unlikely — but that they 
were the persons Confucius describes them to have 
been, is more than doubtful. . 

Yaou commenced his reign 2337 b. c. It is to 
be lamented that the portrait of his character and 
his life, is like the mixed action and parable of an 
oriental fable. We can hardly sift its probabilities 
from amidst its superstitions. He was born under 
the reign of a red-dragon, which his mother is said 
to have observed. The Shoo-king, written by 
Confucius, which contains his history, is the great 
text-book of the Chinese literati, although it is 
vague, obscure, and dogmatical, even to darkness* 


Some notion, however, of the nature of the doctrines 
it promulgates may be derived from the fact, that 
while it recognizes the existence of a Supreme 
Being, which it clothes with all the attributes of 
power, and wisdom, and goodness, it teaches the 
necessity of material worship, ordaining that homage 
shall be done to the visible universe, the spirits of 
the mountains, rivers, and seas. The adherence to 
this sense of the idolatrous has served, in a great 
degree, to engender and confirm that sensuality 
and profound barbarism, that still distinguish the 

Yaou was evidently a popular monarch. He 
made many journeys through his dominions, lived 
frugally, dressed without ostentation, taught wis- 
dom and the social virtues ; set an example of their 
value in his own person ; cultivated the sciences ; 
promoted the happiness of the people ; and dis- 
pensed justice with frankness and promptitude. It 
is not surprising that it should be recorded of such 
a paragon of sovereigns, that "he ruled the nation 
as easily as he could turn a finger in the palm of 
his hand I" The divinities themselves seemed to 
take an interest in the sublime virtues of Yaou, and 
showered upon his reign a multitude of omens, 
bearing, of course, the most extraordinary interpre- 
tations. Some barbarians from the south, carried to 
his court a divine tortoise, upon whose back was 
inscribed, in strange characters, the history of the 
world. A plant sprung up, whose blossoms ex- 


ponded and declined as the moon attained its full 
age, and disappeared. The phoenix, and the ke-lin, 
a fabulous quadruped, were the harbingers of good 
to the people, and appearing in different places 
rendered his reign miraculously prosperous. Odes 
were written and sung in his honour, the old won- 
dered and applauded, and the young were lost in 
joy. In his reign, too, the Deluge took place : that 
is to say, a great swelling of the waters, which rose 
so high as to cover the summits of the mountains ; 
but as we have no means of ascertaining the precise 
date of the event, we are left to conjecture that it 
was the flood recorded in Holy Writ. Yaou, failing 
through one agent to disperse the overwhelming 
tides, sent his son Yu to undertake that mission, 
and it is stated that the prince, who afterwards 
became one of the most distinguished of the Em- 
perors, succeeded. 

Yaou is stated to have reigned altogether ninety- 
nine years; but for the last twenty-eight years 
Shun performed the most laborious parts of the 
duty. Shun, although he was a descendant from 
an imperial stock, was in the first part of his life 
placed in humiliating circumstances, under the do- 
mestic tyranny of a step-mother, and half brother ; 
but rising from the humble station of a fisherman 
and potter, in which he is said to have shewn some 
extraordinary instances of filial piety, he became at 
last a participator in the government. The whole 
story is like a parable to illustrate the value of vir- 


tuous actions. During his reign the marshes were 
drained, and great practical improvements were 
effected in agriculture, and the mode of collecting 
the public revenue. He also constructed a celestial 
sphere, on which the stars were represented by 
precious stones, and reduced the criminal code to a 
more consistent shape, diminishing in effect its 
barbarous character. He appears to have been 
very modest about the acquisition and retention of 
power, and to have held it only for the good of the 
country, and because the popular love forced it 
upon him. His conversations, which are full of the 
wisdom of goodness, are preserved at great length 
in the Shoo-king, which has been translated into 
the French. He died in the year 2208, b. c. thirty 
years after the death of Yaou. 

To him succeeded Yu, the son of Yaou, who 
founded the Hea dynasty. Like Shun, who for a 
long time declined the honours of Imperial State, 
Yu appears also to have coquetted about the throne, 
wishing to resign it to the son of Shun ; but he was 
a man of. such activity, and had already proved 
himself to be so worthy of the government, that the 
people insisted upon his appointment. His birth was, 
of course, a miracle. His mother saw a shooting star, 
and dreamt she swallowed a " pearl of great price" 
at the date of conception. No wonder that Yu grew 
to the height of nine feet two inches, and was a 
man of herculean strength and unqualified courage, 
when the gods themselves took such an interest in 


his nativity. He was distinguished for caution as 
well as bravery, and followed the excellent example 
of his immediate predecessors in all affairs of state, 
rewarding merit according to its deserts, and punish- 
ing crime with a just measure of retribution. He 
was at all times so desirous to redress grievances, 
that he caused a bell to be hung up at the gate of 
the palace, so that those who had any complaints to 
make, might ring, and be at once admitted to his 
presence. Ta-yu was ninety-three when he ascend- 
ed the throne, and reigning seven years, he died 
2198, b.c. 

The two next reigns of Te-ke and Tae-kang 
were distinguished merely by two rebellions, which 
were speedily suppressed : but the latter monarch 
became unpopular in consequence of his love of 
hunting, which led him, incontinently, to ravage 
the land. He resigned the throne to his brother 
Chung-kang. A war against two astronomers who 
failed to record an eclipse, was the only event of 
his reign worth record. A period of confusion 
ensued. Te-seang, an imbecile monarch, was suc- 
ceeded by E, the governor of a district, who deposed 
him ; but E was killed by Han-tsuh, an ambitious 
man, who panted for the throne. A war for power 
followed, in which, after many fluctuations, the son 
of the Emperor was at last proclaimed. But great 
abuses had crept in during the temporary usurpa- 
tion of Han-tsuh, and the succeeding reigns were 
remarkable only for the advantages which bad men 

4 x 


took of the state of the empire, or for the vain 
attempts at reform which were made by the vir- 

Kee, a vicious prince, carried his licentiousness 
to the most extravagant lengths. He built a room 
for the Empress, coated with jasper, and had in his 
court, piles of meat, and ponds of wine. A district 
governor took arms against him, and dethroned 
him. He fled to ignominious exile, and died in 
obscurity. His son fled to the northern deserts, 
where he expired amongst the savages, and the 
victorious Ching-tang ascended the throne, and 
having thus extirpated the former race, founded 
the Shang dynasty. The Chinese historians tell 
us, that on this momentous occasion, the whole 
globe underwent a revolution — the earth shook, to 
its centre, mountains tumbled from their base, and 
the very stars in heaven faded into darkness ! 

Ching-tang commenced his reign with sacrifices, 
prayers, and promises. For seven years, during his 
reign, China was afflicted with a drought. Ac- 
cording to the astronomical reports of the time, this 
calamity was caused by certain demons of the air, 
who seized the clouds in their hands, and prevented 
the rain from dropping from them. Ching-tang, 
however, contrived to manage affairs so well, that 
the people did not suffer so severely as might have 
been anticipated ; at last he went out alone to a 
mountain, and praying to heaven for a remission 
of the evil, rain speedily descended in fertilizing 


showers.* Ching-tang died 1753, b. c. and wag 
called the Well-Beloved. 

His successor was by nature a vicious person, and 
a wise minister seized him, confined him with his 
wife and concubines, in the catacombs of his an- 
cestors ; from which, after some years of repentance, 
he was released and restored to the throne. 

The Shang dynasty proceeded for many years 
afterwards without furnishing any remarkable per- 
son or events. Barbarians made occasional incur- 
sions, and the Mandarins began gradually to as- 
sume extraneous powers as the energy of the princes 
declined. At length a patriarch, who appears to 
have been very sensible on one point, his incapa- 
city to govern, declared that he could not continue 
to rule unless he had a wise minister to guide his 
councils. He dreamt of such a man, and making 
a drawing of him, sent officers in all directions in 
search of this extraordinary, but unknown person. 
In the course of time, an individual exactly fulfil- 
ling the description, was found in the person of a 
working mason, who was immediately brought be- 
fore the Emperor, and invested with all the honours 
of the first minister, the Emperor thanking heaven 

; for sending him so wise an adviser. It so hap- 
pened, that the mason was a man of considerable 
knowledge, and a rigid judgment ; therefore through 

. his counsels public affairs prospered. Unfortu- 

* In a previous chapter I have described, in full, a modern in- 
V stance of ibis propitiatory interference of the Celestial Emperor. 


nately, however, one of the Emperors exhibited 
so much impiety, that the Chow family, who were 
gradually growing into importance and popularity, 
^were looked to as the successors to the throne. The 
impious monarch is represented to have fired arrows 
at heaven, in consequence of his prayers having 
been refused, and to have suspended vessels of 
blood in the air, so that when the fluid issued, he 
could persuade the people that he had struck the 
object of his rage ! The last emperor of this race, 
was so infamous a person, that his minister, Woo- 
wang, rebelled against him, and heading a power- 
ful army, defeated him in a pitched battle. The 
Emperor fled into the palace, and died a royal 
death, amidst precious stones, and a blazing pile, 
which, like Sardanapalus, he fired with his own 

The Chow dynasty succeeded, and lasted from 
1122 to 249, b.c. 

Woo-wang addressed himself with great skill 
to the business of government. He restored all that 
was good in the institutions of his predecessors, and 
avoided the bad. But in his desire to conciliate all 
parties, he made the fatal mistake of re-establishing 
the five orders of nobility, which produced all the 
baneful consequences that flow from the feudal 
system. Still, however, China was improved under 
his auspices ; and even the barbarian states, that 
had hitherto harassed the borders, sent in tenders 
of allegiance to his government. 


The reign of Ching-wang, his successor, was 
distinguished by a desire to promote the good that 
had already been accomplished. He stilled the 
turbulence of domestic broils; received foreign 
ambassadors, to whom, he is said (fabulously, of 
course) to have given a box-compass, to direct 
them on their homeward route ; built prosperous 
cities ; and, for the first time, issued metal money. 
His funeral was conducted with great pomp and 

In the time of his immediate successors, we find 
the first mention made of the Tartars of Lesser 
Bukharia, afterwards destined to be the scourge 
of the Western World. The Emperor Muh-wang 
marched an army against them, but they adroitly 
disappeared, and he found nothing to contend 
against, but the wild denizens of the desert. 

Cruelty and indolence alternately marked the 
career of succeeding princes ; and, under such go- 
vernments, it was not surprising that the petty states 
should gradually increase in power, and assume to 
themselves the rights of sovereignty. The growth 
of the evil spirit generated numerous complaints, 
and the Emperor Le-wang adopted the savage me- 
thod of stopping the increase of remonstrances, by 
putting every body to death who dared to murmur. 
Congratulating himself upon this expeditious me- 
thod of getting rid of national discontent, he is said, 
on one occasion, to have asked a wise minister if 
he had not done well in thus crushing the expres- 


gion of public opinion. The answer of Chaou-kung, 
in which are shadowed forth the privileges of a 
free people in a very admirable way, is worthy of 
preservation. " This," exclaimed Chaou-kung, "is 
nothing but a veil, which prevents you from know- 
ing the innermost thoughts ; but, remember, that 
it is more perilous to stop the mouths of the people, 
than to arrest the rapids of a torrent. By restrain- 
ing it, you will only cause it to flow over, and do 
the more injury. If you wish to prevent all damage, 
you ought to dig a large bed, which can contain all 
the water. In the same way, those who are charged 
with governing the people, ought to grant them 
the liberty of speech. That Emperor may be said 
to understand the art of government, who permits 
poets to make whatever verses they please, and to 
enjoy their harmless pastime ; who suffers histo- 
rians to speak the truth ; ministers to give their 
advice; labourers to talk about their work; and 
the nation to speak freely. Thus all things will 
prosper. The tongues of the people are like the 
mountains and rivers, from whence we dig our 
riches, and obtain the necessaries of life !" This 
piece of advice will stand good for all countries, to 
the end of time. The result is still more admoni- 
tory. Le-wang despised the advice of his minister, 
and continued to oppress the people. The populace, 
incensed at his conduct, broke into the palace, but 
the unpopular monarch contrived to escape. The 
furious mob demanded from Chaou-kung, that he 


should deliver up the young son of the sovereign, 
but the virtuous minister hesitated. At last, pressed 
hard by the crowd, he gave up his own son instead, 
who was immediately torn to pieces, and thus the 
son of the Emperor was preserved. 

In the succeeding reign the Tartars passed the 
borders, stimulated by the growing dissensions of 
the interior, arising from the increasing feuds of 
the petty States. They succeeded in defeating the 
Chinese in one great battle, but were themselves 
afterwards routed and dispersed. The Chinese, 
irritated at having been beaten in the first instance, 
overran their country. This, however, was not 
sufficient to subdue the Tartars, who were exclu- 
sively dedicated to warlike occupations, and who, 
now that they felt their power, were resolved to 
carry it into effect. They attacked the frontiers 
with various success, and distressed the people. 
They slew one Emperor, and became engaged 
in a still more decisive war with his successor. 
But the petty Princes in the mean time were taking 
up, on their own behalf, the task of extirpating the 
barbarian invaders. There were now twenty-one 
independent kingdoms. A long period was filled 
with their disastrous contentions. The Tartars 
fought the Princes in detail, and profited of course 
by the divisions that broke up the common enemy 
into so many separate troops. 

Wearied by the ruinous consequences of these 
disastrous broils, some of the States resolved to enter 


into a confederation to repel the invaders. But it 
was a long time before their union was effected, so 
as to produce any practical results. At this period, 
552 b. c, Confucius was born, in the principality of 
Loo. His mother bestowed upon him the title of 
E-kew (hillock), in consequence of the formation of 
the crown of his head. His father died when he was 
only three years of age. As Confucius exercised a 
great and just influence over the age he lived in ; 
and as with him begins, in reality, the only authentic 
record of the Chinese history, it will be neces- 
sary to enter more at length into the particulars 
concerning him. 

In his youth he is said to have been serious, and 
rarely to have entered into those amusements that 
are usual amongst boys, but to have spent much of 
his time in the examination of ancient records, 
which, at that period, were engraven on the rind of 
the bamboo. The great objects of his studies were 
the principles of good government, and having 
access by his birth, (he being descended, through 
his mother, from the illustrious Yu family,) to the 
courts of the different Princes, he visited them all, 
with a view to impress upon them the advantages 
of acting in accordance with those righteous doc- 
trines, which his wisdom suggested as being best 
calculated to promote the happiness of the people. 
He was encountered by many mortifications and 
disappointments, but he pursued his course with 
untiring zeal, and, even amidst the most depressing 


circumstances, exhibited the most ardent spirit of 
perseverance. He was at length, at the age of 
fifty-five, appointed Prime Minister in his native 
kingdom, Loo, and it is recorded that in the course 
of three years the effects of his advice were visible 
in the great improvements that weTe produced in 
that State. So rapid and complete was the advance 
of prosperity and morality, that the King of Tse, a 
neighbouring principality, jealous of the growing 
power of his rival, sent to the court at Loo some 
exceedingly beautiful dancing girls, on a mission 
similar to that recorded by Tasso of the fascinating 
Armida. The dancers produced the desired effect, 
and the King of Loo became the slave of their 
charms. The virtuous Confucius remonstrated in 
vain, and finding that his salutary warnings were 
of no avail, he threw up his office, and left the court 
in disgust. He then applied to three different Go- 
vernments to obtain a place, in the discharge of the 
duties of which he might be enabled to render some 
practical good to his country, but he was repulsed, 
perhaps, because, as an eloquent writer says of Pitt, 
" majesty became jealous of his superiority, and 
conspired to remove him." At length, dispirited 
by the reception he had met with he went to Chin, 
where he lived in obscurity and want, and after- 
wards returned to Loo. By this time, neglected as 
he was by the Prince, his fame had spread very con- 
siderably. He had already three thousand disciples, 
but only admitted a few of that number to his con- 


fidence. He instructed them clearly upon all the 
arts of life and happiness ; the ways of virtue ; the 
wisdom of moral conduct ; the mode of speaking 
and writing with eloquence ; and the advantages 
of judging with discretion and good temper. He 
carried command and respect in his demeanour ; 
was of an exceedingly fine presence ; spoke slowly 
and judicially ; was temperate in his habits; and 
courteous in his manners; he inspired reverence 
by the solemnity of his looks, and the inflexible 
rigour of his principles. He was hated by all those 
who hated justice, and was once even in danger of 
being assassinated, on which occasion he is said to 
have exhibited the utmost coolness and presence of 
mind. He employed his leisure in the composition 
of works for the government of men, under all 
imaginable circumstances, and the arrangement of 
histories and codes. He compiled the Shoo-king 
and Chun-tsew — gave a ceremonial code to his 
countrymen, which has been already described in a 
preceding chapter ; collected the scattered odes, and 
besides some works on filial piety, he reduced the 
Yih-king to a system, and composed a part of the 
four classics. In his last sickness he exhibited re- 
signation and self-possession. He did not wish, he 
said, that any body should pray for him, as he had 
prayed for himself; and, deploring the miserable 
state of his country, he declared that his only regret 
was that he could no longer be useful upon earth, 
and that it was necessary he should leave it. His 


death, surrounded by his disciples, was the death of 
a philosopher. He died in his seventy-third year, 
and was buried on the banks of the Soo river, where 
his sepulchre was erected. 

The great end of the labours of Confucius was 
directed to the morals of the people, through the 
agency of their Governors. He desired in the 
first instance to reform the Governors, that the 
people seeing the example of decorum in high 
places, might be induced to imitate it. Perhaps 
the Chinese are indebted to the very indifference 
with which he was treated by the princes, for those 
excellent works he has left behind him. Had he 
been permitted to counsel in the courts, it is not 
improbable that his efforts might have ended 
where they began, but, despised or neglected by the 
rulers, he addressed all his energies to the ruled. 
That his system of ethics, his book of ceremonials, 
and his volumes of history contain a great mass of 
fabulous and absurd matter, cannot be denied : but 
it must be admitted at the same time, that he pro* 
pounded many salutary truths, and some imperish- 
able and homely principles that will be acknow- 
ledged to be correct in all times, and by every 
country to which they may penetrate. Nothing, 
for example, can be more ridiculous in the present 
advanced state of knowledge, than some of the 
crude notions Confucius entertained respecting the 
planetary system, yet we perceive, even throughout 
hid errors, a struggle to establish upon a clear basis 


the harmony of nature, and the great law of design, 
which subsequent discoveries have satisfactorily 
demonstrated. It is true that, losing himself in 
blind speculations, and. becoming vain of the single 
greatness of his state, he drew the people into 
many false doctrines, and ultimately established a 
pantheistic code ; but when the state of knowledge 
at that period of time, and the previous prejudices 
of the Chinese are taken into consideration, it must 
become evident that Confucius, even if the idea 
had occurred to him, which it evidently did not, 
would have found it impossible to wean the ignorant 
multitude from their Material Religion. He did in 
fact, in that respect, no more than give a shape and 
consistency to their creed. He reduced its broken 
elements to order, he framed a system approaching 
to intelligence, and at all events, more imposing, 
tangible, and apparently reasonable, than they 
possessed before ; and if he did not lead them into 
a more lucid and philosophical faith than they had 
previously enjoyed, he had the singular merit 
of giving them fresh modes of exhibiting " the faith 
that was in them." But it is chiefly as a pro- 
pounder of moral principles that Confucius is to be 
regarded. It was in this way that he produced the 
most extensive and the deepest impressions. His 
wise sayings are like irreversible maxims. The 
Chinese dress all their actions, or rather profess to 
do so, by his laws. Their duties throughout their 
moral relations, the obligations and responsibilities 


of all the officers of state, of masters and servants, 
and of all reciprocal positions in life, are laid down 
by Confucius with clearness, and in a tone of 
decision that leaves nothing to be desired, and 
nothing to be regretted. Had he done nothing 
more, he ought to be regarded as one of the greatest 
benefactors of his species. Enlightened nations 
might derive instruction from his works, and the 
wisest men, who, in addition to their natural 
sagacity, possess the advantages of accumulated 
knowledge, might refer to his labours for hints 
upon the great business of existence. In religious 
matters he appears to have observed constant cir- 
cumspection. He enjoins the worship of the gods 
as the one thing needful. He deems the god 
worshipped of less amount, than the act of sacrifice 
and adoration. With him the ceremony seems to 
have taken the place of the feeling it typified, and 
he avoided with scrupulous care entering upon any 
explanation as to the force of the doctrines, their 
origin, or ultimate tendency. The all in all, on 
matters of religion, was to worship the gods through 
their works. The images of earthly things, the 
sun, moon, and stars; temples, beasts, and fishes; all 
material and visible objects enter the pantheistic 
scheme, and provided the people duly observed the 
ceremonials, it did not appear that Confucius cared 
to desire that their understandings should penetrate 
farther. He invoked their senses alone, and left 
their reason for the culture of succeeding ages. Yet 


even thus far he improved their capacities by 
regulating their actions. 

This deficiency in the philosophical labours of 
Confucius appears to have been felt even in his own 
time, for a contemporary of his, already men- 
tioned, Laou-Keun, attempted to supply the blank 
in the religious code. Unfortunately, however, 
Laou-Keun was too mystical to produce any prac- 
tical results. His system aimed at human per- 
fectibility. He desired to make men virtuous to a 
paragon of goodness, and even entertained a 
notion, from having studied the science of alchymy, 
that he could discover a liquid from whence im- 
mortal life might be derived. He was so impressed 
with the notion of abstracting the human character 
from the grossness of earth, and of attaining a 
degree of mental purity never known before, that he 
withdrew from all communion with his fellow men, 
and hid himself in lonely mountains, where he pro- 
secuted his delusive studies. He sometimes hints 
vaguely at the existence of one supreme Deity, 
and some have thought that they discovered in his 
writings certain allusions to the Trinity, but this is 
evidently a gratuitous and ridiculous stretch of 
critical acumen. His productions are remarkable 
for incoherency, obscurity, and a repetition of 
ancient errors, in a new, and by no means intelli- 
gible form. 

One of the paramount wishes which Confucius had 
at heart, was to quell the feuds of the Princes, and 

MANG-T&ZE. 319 

unite the empire under one bead. He saw that 
in that project alone lay the salvation of the in- 
tegrity of the whole ; but be was defeated in all 
his exertions. The feuds raged during his lifetime* 
and continued after his death. The Chow dynasty 
was now rapidly drawing to a close. The brazen 
vases, on which Yu had inscribed the names of the 
different provinces of China, shone fearfully on one 
occasion, which was taken as a certain prognostic 
of the decline of the royal family; and, on another, 
a mountain fell into the Yellow River, and arrested 
its course, inundating the country all round, which 
was seized upon as a reasonable excuse on the part 
of the rebellious and disaffected, for anticipating the 
will of Providence in accelerating the rain of the 
reigning family. 

About 370, b. c. arose Mang-tsze, a disciple of the 
Confucian doctrine, who occupies a prominent place 
in Chinese history, on account of the earnestness with 
which he prosecuted a crusade against what might 
be deemed the heresies of the day. In youth he 
discovered extraordinary talents for imitation, and 
having been brought to live near a public institu- 
tion, his natural bias was determined in favour of 
learning. Having studied the Confucian philosophy 
with great care, his next object was to go abroad, 
and disseminate it. He exhorted the warlike 
Princes to peace, and, denouncing selfishness in 
every shape, he recommended the inculcation and 
practice of virtue. There were then two sects of 


opinionists in China, against whom he entered into 
open opposition. The one advocated universal 
love, the other self-interest. He deprecated both. 
In China the people are linked together in clans, 
designated sings, and all the members of the clans, 
which are no more than about 400 in number, con- 
sider themselves bound to each other by ties of 
kindred ; like those of the Scotch and Irish clans. 
This union of blood, however, does not produce 
eventual good will, for while the clans are bound 
up in their bond of love, they are generally fero- 
ciously disposed to each other, probably transmitting 
ancient feuds > from generation to generation. 
Mang-tsze who, on the one hand, resisted the doc- 
trines of selfishness, thought, on the other, that the 
actions of benevolence and charity would be equally 
injured by being spread over too large a surface. 
He considered it as necessary to circumscribe the 
sphere of the affections, as he did to avoid crushing 
them altogether. 

He was so energetic a preacher of what he held 
to be right, and hesitated so little in denouncing the 
faultsof the Prince, that, although he often held office, 
he was frequently slighted, and never made good his 
ground anywhere. He claimed no other merit than 
that of being the disciple of Confucius, than whom 
he is represented to have been more diffuse and in- 
telligible in his style. His notions of goodness were 
so Utopian, that, during his life, he made but little 
impression, and failed to work the good for which 


he laboured ; but after his death he was sanctified 

and almost elevated to a place amongst the deities. 

We have seen how the power of the supreme 

sovereignty wasted away under the calamitous 

divisions of the Princes. The throne was so much 

exposed to internal jealousy, as well as foreign 

aggression, that it is surprising, not that there 

should not have been more frequent usurpations 

and changes of dynasties, but that the empire should 

have continued to retain even the shadow of an 

imperial government. When Heen-wang ascended 

the throne in 368 b. c, the only types of authority 

he possessed were the brazen vases of Yu, with their 

idle inscriptions. And he deemed these pagan 

memorials of vanished power to be so precious and 

essential that, lest he should be robbed of them, he 

flung them into a deep lake. It was a prognostic 

of the downfal of his house. The province of Tsin, 

and its petty potentate, were becoming more powerful 

every day. The Emperors, as they succeeded each 

other, saw that the destiny of the empire was in the 

hands of the Prince of Tsin, who at last assumed the 

title of King, and announced his intention to claim 

the imperial crown. He had but one competitor, 

the Prince of Tse, who was easily subdued. Chaou- 

seang, Prince of Tsin, swiftly carried his conquering 

army into the capital. The Emperor who had in 

vain called upon the Princes for help, sued for an 

ignominious peace, and surrendering his cities and 

glories to the victorious chief, he fled to retirement 

4 Y 


and died. A alight struggle was subsequently 
made by a kinsman of the Chow family, but their 
discomfiture was complete, and Chaou-seang lived 
long enough to subjugate the rest of the turbulent 
Princes, and to bequeath the undisputed sove- 
reignty of China to his grandson, Chwang-seang- 


Outlines of Chinese History— continued 

The province of Tsin formed one-fifth portion 
of the empire. Chwang-seang-wang rivalled his 
grandfather in atrocity, and in following up the 
war which he had commenced, met at first with 
repeated successes. But an alliance having been 
formed against him, by five of the other States, he 
was at length defeated, and did not long survive the 
mortification which it caused him. He was suc- 
ceeded by the celebrated Che^hwang-te, the son of 
a female slave, who was presented to the late 
Emperor by a merchant while she was pregnant, 
with the sinister hope of seeing a son of his placed 
upon the throne. The young Emperor was at this 
time but thirteen years old, but he soon discovered 
principles of determined despotism. The expostu- 
lations of the literati were followed by the execu- 
tion of twenty-seven of their number, their limbs 
being exposed outside the palace to strike terror 
into his subjects. The hereditary Prince of Yen, 
in consequence of a slight which he received, em- 
ployed a bravo to assassinate the Emperor, but failing 
in his project, he was driven from his kingdom, and 
his family totally exterminated. The other minor 


Princes were also gradually subdued, and Che- 
hwang-te, by the aid of his minister Le-sze, made 
himself sovereign of the whole empire. He placed 
the epithet Che, " beginning first," before his title of 
Emperor. In the year 221 b. c, he changed the 
Imperial colour into black. Having attained 
universal dominion, he endeavoured to -atone for 
the sanguinary means which he had used, by turn- 
ing his attention to the improvement of his country. 
Astronomy was revived, and many innovations, 
destructive of the ancient superstitions, introduced. 
His palace at Heen-yang, was made a depository for 
the spoils of the kingdoms he had vanquished, and 
far surpassed in luxury those of his predecessors. 
The Huns, known by the ancients as the Scythians, 
had rendered themselves dreaded by the northern 
States, among which, in their insatiable thirst after 
plunder, they had committed much devastation. 
Che-hwang-te attacking them unexpectedly, found 
them an easy conquest. It was to prevent their 
inroads that he built the great wall of China, which 
remains an enduring monument of his enterprise 
and perseverance. It is carried for more than fif- 
teen hundred miles over rivers, hills, and valleys, is 
lined with battlements, and broad enough to permit 
six horsemen to pass abreast. It terminated in the 
sea, in which vessels, loaded with ballast, were sunk 
to create a foundation. The labour of every third 
man in the empire was required to complete it, 
which was done in the small space of five years, 


240 b. c. The Emperor was often crossed in his 
desire for innovation, hy the remarks of the literati, 
who dreaded the extinction of ancient easterns. 
Their representations, however, were followed by 
the destruction of the ancient books, several mil- 
lions of volumes being committed to the flames; a 
proceeding on the part of the Emperor which nearly 
crushed the literature of the country, and threw 
the Chinese annals into irreparable confusion. He 
died soon after, in the year210B.c. His sonllrh-she- 
hwang-te was dethroned by Lew-pang, a spirited 
and fortunate adventurer, who had previously com- 
manded a troop of banditti. Urh-she-hwang-te 
inherited none of the greatness of his father, and 
finding he could not otherwise escape, stabbed 
himself. His nephew, Tsze-ying, made a fruitless 
attempt to withstand the invasion of Lew-pang, and 
thus ended the Tsin dynasty in the year 206 b. c. 

The Han dynasty commenced with Lew-pang, 
who adopted the name of Kaou-tsoo, and ascended 
the Imperial throne 202 b. c. His reign was dis- 
tinguished by new inroads of the Huns, aided by 
several of his officers, who suffered, however, for 
their treachery. In 195 b.c. his eldest son Heaou- 
hwuy-te succeeded him ; gunk in effeminacy, he 
left the Teins of government entirely in the hands 
of his mother, an ambitious woman, whose great 
talent for government was stained by her excessive 
cruelty. At his death, without issue, in 188 b. c, 
she usurped the throne for eight years, being the 


first woman who ever reigned over the celestial 
empire. Her excesses would have entailed upon 
her a violent death, had she not been carried off by 
illness in 180 b. a, when Wan-te succeeded her. 
His reign was marked by an assiduous attention to 
the welfare of the empire, which was at this time 
rather impaired. He introduced festivals in honour 
of the ancient gods, and by a recurrence to ancient 
rites, rendered himself very popular. In his reign 
paper was invented by the Chinese. He died in 
157 B.C. He was succeeded by King-te, in whose 
time some unsuccessful rebellions were followed by 
devastations, caused by repeated earthquakes and 
swarms of locusts. Woo-tee, his successor, in 141 
B.C. shewed himself a friend to learning, though 
not untainted by native cruelty and superstition. 
Among the learned men who adorned his reign was 
Ize-ma-tseen, whose Chinese History was a useful 
addition to the literature of his country. Woo-tee de- 
puted his son Chaou-te, then but seven years old, his 
successor, in consequence of his external resem- 
blance to Yaou. Ill order to secure the succession 
of this Prince, the Imperial barbarian killed his 
mother, who would h&ve otherwise ascended the 
throne ! The reigns of Chaou-te, and his uncle, 
who succeeded him, were marked by foreign inva- 
sions and domestic treachery, which their indolence 
served to encourage. The latter was dethroned by 
his nobles, and Seuen-te succeeded him. in 73 b. c 
He reduced the Huns once more to subjection, and 


caused a compilation to be made of those ancient 
classics 'which escaped the conflagration of Che- 
hwang-te. His designs in favour of literature were 
followed up by his successor Yuen-te, 48 b. c. He 
reigned sixteen years, and was succeeded by his son 
Ching-te, who, resigning the imperial power to his 
uncles, indulged in all the sensual and effeminate 
pleasures which his court afforded him. One of 
his nobles, who endeavoured to repress his evil 
inclinations, was sentenced to weed, for two years, 
the grass from the tombs of his ancestors. Ping-te, 
the grandson of Yuen-te, came to the throne in the 
year of our Saviour's birth. He was but nine years 
old, and the administration was placed in the hands 
of an ambitious noble Wang-mang, who secretly 
poisoned the young Emperor ; and, being appointed 
regent during the minority of his successor, suc- 
ceeded at length in usurping the throne. He did 
not long enjoy the fruits of his usurpation, but met 
with a violent death in the year a. d. 23. The reign 
of Kwang-woo-te was signalised, among other rebel- 
lions, by a fruitless attempt on the part of two 
sisters, of royal extraction, to free the province of 
Cochin-China. He died a. n. 58. His son Ming-te, 
who succeeded him, adopted the Buddhist super- 
stition, which prevails in China to the present day. 
In the reign of Ho-te, who ascended the throne in 
a. n. 89, a lady named Pan-hwuy-pan distinguished 
herself as the authoress of a Chinese History and 
other works. Their value may be inferred from 


her instructions to her own sex, whom she charac- 
terised as the degraded and worthless portion of the 
species, and to whom she enjoins the most abject 
submission. She was highly patronized, however, 
by the Emperor, and is still one of the most favourite 
writers. With such an object of admiration, can 
the barbarity of the people remain a matter of won- 
der ! This reign was followed by several minorities, 
during which the empire was left a prey to invasion 
and misgovernmeiit. It appears to have been a 
custom to seat boys upon the throne, in order 
to obtain the opportunities of oppression which a 
regency afforded. The young Emperors were 
immersed in sensual habits, whilst the reins of 
government were entrusted to ambitious and un- 
principled eunuchs. In the reign of Ling-te, who 
ascended the throne a. d. 168, at the age of twelve 
years, the Empress -dowager was murdered by 
these personages ; who, being accused of the crime 
by the literati, caused a thousand of them to be exe- 
cuted. Upon the death of this Emperor in 189, the 
Empress and the young prince, who was heir to the 
crown, became the victims to a revolutionary con- 
spiracy, which placed Heen-te upon the throne. 
He was, however, but a tool in the hands of Tung- 
cho, who proved himself a monster, to whom the 
shedding of human blood was an every day amuse- 
ment. He was at length beheaded, though his 
party was so strong, that it required no little exer- 
tion to suppress it. Heen-te abdicated the throne 


a. t>. 220, in favour of Tsaou-pe, who was shortly 
after superseded by Lew-pei, in whose reign the 
commencement of foreign intercourse took place 
at Canton, and the art of printing from blocks 
was invented. In the year 255, the Emperor 
How-te, pressed by invasion and internal weakness, 
resigned his power to the prince of Wei, by which 
act the Han dynasty became extinct ; it was during 
this period that the most celebrated literary men 
were produced by China. 

The Tsin dynasty commenced under Woo-te, who 
compelled the prince of Wei to abdicate the throne. 
Hwuy-te, his successor, was swayed by his wife, 
Kea-she, a woman of unparalleled cruelty. The 
Huns, who were gradually becoming more civilized, 
renewed their destructive inroads. In 307, Hwae* 
te came to the throne. He was attacked by the 
King of Han, who took him prisoner, and caused 
himself to be proclaimed. Hwae-te was soon after 
assassinated, but the usurper did not remain in 
possession of the crown, which was wrested from 
him by a member of the Tsin family, named Min- 
ts, in the year 313. Minute found the affairs of 
the Government at his accession in a miserable 
condition, and in despair yielded himself up to 
Lew-tsung, and was soon after assassinated. In 
318, the Governor-General Sze-ma-juy was unani- 
mously chosen Emperor by the people. His reign 
was a scene of conspiracy and trouble, and closed 
in 322, when Ming-te ascended the throne, among 


numberless plots, which, however, he succeeded in 
suppressing. He died in 325, and was succeeded 
by three minorities. Gae-te, who came to the 
throne in 362, reigned but three years, haying 
hastened his death by the use of an " ambrosial" 
liquid, which he supposed would render him im- 
mortal. Heaou-woo, a weak prince, ascended the 
throne at the age of fourteen. After a reign of 
twenty years, he was strangled in bed by one of his 
wives, whom he threatened to repudiate, the lady 
having made him drunk to effect her purpose. 
His son Gan-te succeeded him in 396. He was 
strangled in his palace, and succeeded by his 
brother Kung-te, who ascended the throne in 419. 
Lew-yu, an ambitious general, had long meditated 
the usurpation of the crown, and employed a 
person to assassinate the Emperor. The attempt 
failed ; but he returned to the capital with his 
forces, and Kung-te, to save his life, abdicated the 
throne in his favour, and thus ended the Tsin 

Lew-yu, who founded the Sung dynasty in 420, 
adopted the name of Woo-te. Soon after his ac- 
cession, he poisoned the Ex-Emperor, whom he did 
not long survive, however, bequeathing the crown 
to his son Shaou-te in 422. This prince was con- 
sidered unworthy of the throne, and his brother 
Wan-te was placed in his stead. Wan-te proved 
himself a patron to useful learning, by the erection 
of colleges, and an attempt to suppress the doctrines 


of Buddhism. He was murdered by one of his sons 
in 454. The brother of this unnatural prince re* 
venged his father's death, and seated himself on the 
throne. He raised the empire to a more flourishing 
condition, but brought on his death by debau- 
cheries in 465- His son Fe-te succeeded him, and 
rendered his name notorious for ferocity. He mur- 
dered all who fell under his displeasure, and was 
slain by one of his eunuchs. Ming-te, his successor, 
in 466, was equally noted for a savage thirst for 
blood. He killed fourteen of his nephews, whose 
rivalry he dreaded. Tsang-woo-wang, who came to 
the throne in 472, shared the ferocious nature of his 
predecessors ; with an insane savageness, he often 
ran through the streets, killing all who came in his 
way. He met at length with a violent death, and 
was succeeded by his adopted son Shun-te in 477. 
This Emperor reigned but two years, when he was 
obliged to abdicate by his general Seaou-taou- 
ching, who founded the Tse dynasty in 480. 

Seaou-taou-ching adopted the name of Kaou-te, 
and was distinguished for the excellence of his 
government, which lasted, however, but two years. 
In the reign of his son Woo-te, lived the philoso- 
pher Fan-chin, who taught the doctrines of ma- 
terialism and fatalism, which. still prevail among 
the higher classes of the Chinese. The grandson 
of this Emperor was dethroned in 492 by Seaou- 
lun, who died in 499, of a nostrum, administered 
to him by the priests, leaving his son Paou-Keuen 


on the throne, which he had usurped. He was 
dethroned by his general Seaou-yen, who founded 
the Leang dynasty in 502. 

On the accession of Seaou-yen, he assumed the 
name of Leang-woo-te, and to secure the possession 
of the empire, entered into a protracted contest 
with the Prince of Wei. He embraced the doctrines 
of Buddhism, became a priest of that superstition, 
and entered into a monastery, from which he was 
forced by his nobles, to resume his imperial duties. 
His son Keen-wan-te, who succeeded him, was slain 
by his general How-king, who sought to obtain the 
crown. He was, however, defeated and slain ; and 
Yuen-te'ascended the throne in 552. A new usurper 
started up, named Chin-pa-seen, to whom Yuen-te 
surrendered himself. The latter was beheaded, 
and his brother King-te, who next mounted the 
throne, finding his power merely nominal, yielded 
his title to Chin-pa-seen, who founded, in 557, 
the Chin dynasty. 

Chin-pa-seen, having seated himself on the 
throne, adopted the name of Kaou-tsoo, but did not 
long enjoy his usurped dominion, which he left, in 
559, to his nephew Chin-tseen, or Wan-te, who 
was esteemed a wise and judicious prince. His 
son Pe-tsung, who succeeded him in 566, was young 
and imbecile, and was deposed in 568 by his uncle 
Chin-heu. During the reign of the latter, the 
principality of Chow became extinct His son 
How-te ascended the throne in 582, but his time 

4l regimens of ladies. 333 

was devoted solely to pleasure, being passed with 
his women and eunuchs, in the erection of sump- 
tuous apartments, and planting delicious groves. 
With him ended the Chin dynasty. Yang-keen, 
marching to the capital, which he took without 
resistance, found the Imperial family concealed in 
a well ; he granted them their lives, and mounted 
the throne in 590. 

Yang-keen, the founder of theSuy dynasty, united 
the Northern and Southern empires, greatly to 
the dismay of the Tartar chiefs, whose invasions he 
succeeded in repelling. His son, the rightful heir, 
was strangled by his brother Yang-kwan in 604, 
and the latter having seized the sceptre, buried 
himself in the luxurious pleasures of his gardens, 
in which he amused himself riding about, with a 
train of 1000 damsels. * Satiated with voluptuous- 

* This species of voluptuousness was not confined to the Em- 
perors. We find in other parts of Chinese history, that even the 
Governors of provinces indulged themselves with fantastic pleasures 
of this kind, to a still greater degree. I take the following illustrative 
anecdote, for a specimen, " Shih-hoo, a Governor of the Chaou 
principality, erected a magnificent palace, with all the splendour 
of the East, where more than ten thousand people lived, among 
whom were the most beautiful damsels, dressed in sumptuous 
robes, soothsayers, and astrologers, with a number of nimble bow- 
men. But the most remarkable corps, was a regiment of tall and 
slender ladies, who, mounted on horseback with splendid trappings, 
and elegant robes, to set off their fine figures, served him for a body 
guard. When he went out, these females played upon instruments, 
and entertained the guests at his sumptuous table. At the same time 
his people were starving. 19 


ness, he busied himself in expeditions against the 
Koreans, who were inclined to dispute his authority. 
He was slain while making a tour through the em- 
pire, and Le-yuen, one of his generals, placed the 
crown on the head of Kung-te in 617, reserving to 
himself the administration as Prime Minister, and 
Regent. This power was but a stepping-stone to 
sovereign sway, and Kung-te fell a victim to the 
ambition of Le-yuen, who founded the Tang 
dynasty in 619. 

Le-yuen, whose great military talents had ren- 
dered him an object of dread to his predecessors, 
had been employed by them in repelling the inva- 
sions of the Tartar and other rapacious tribes, 
among whom he acquired a fame as a warrior, 
which served to raise him to the throne. Within 
six years after his accession, he brought the whole 
Celestial Empire under his subjection, and was 
frequently engaged in preserving his country from 
the attacks of the Turkish hordes, whose barbarous 
power was becoming, at this period, intractable, 
and extending in every direction. Kaou-tsoo, his 
successor, encouraged the cultivation of the arts 
and sciences ; and after repelling the repeated in- 
roads of the Tartars, died in 649. Kaou-tsung 
who then ascended the throne, was a warlike empe- 
ror. He carried his victorious arms as far as Persia ; 
and reduced the Taofan tribe, or Tibetians, to sub- 
jection. He was succeeded in 684 by Chung-tsung, 
a weak and debauched prince, whose mother seized 


the reins of government, and kept him in confine- 
ment. On his death, in 710, his brother Juy-tsung, 
came to the throne, and was followed by Heuen- 
tsung, who commenced his reign with the en- 
couragement of literature and the erection of col- 
leges, and ended it with drowning his Empress and 
her children, thereby incurring the Divine ven- 
geance in the rfiape of a rebellion, which placed 
his son Tih-tsung on the throne. His successor, 
Shun-tsung, abdicated, after a reign of one year, in 
favour of his son Heen-tsung, who displayed a 
strange mixture of superstition, and good govern- 
ment. He reformed the various offices of the state, 
and inquired into the proceedings of the Manda- 
rins. He was tainted, however, with the fanaticism 
of Buddha, and having heard that a finger of that 
personage was preserved in the province of Shen-se, 
he caused the relic to be conveyed to the capital in a 
magnificent procession. Soon after this he drank 
the elixir of immortality, by which he was poisoned. 
Several of his successors, with similar folly, entailed 
upon themselves the same fate. The eunuchs had, 
of late years, possessed unlimited power over the 
dynasties, being accustomed to select, as Emperor, 
the most imbecile prince, in order to secure their own 
authority. Seuen-tsung, who, like Brutus, affected 
idiotcy, was raised by them to the throne, and 
soon after his accession, testified the error of their 
choice, by an attempted extirpation of all the eunuchs 
about his court. He failed, however, and sought 


refuge in the immortal elixir. Chaou-tsung, who 
ascended the throne in 888, was imprisoned by 
the eunuchs in a hole, with only a small aperture, 
through which he received his food ; escaping from 
this durance, through the intervention of his prime 
minister, he invoked the aid of the public rob- 
bers, to whom the eunuchs were consigned, and but 
few of their number escaped the general slaughter. 
Chaou-tsung was soon after murdered by Choo- 
wan, Prince of Leang, who raised Chaou-seuen-te 
to the throne in 905. This prince abdicated shortly 
after in favour of Choo-wan, and thus put an end to 
the Tang dynasty. 

The five succeeding dynasties are termed by the 
Chinese, Woo-tde, or " the five ages." They are 
distinguished as the How-leang, How-tang, How- 
tsin, How-han, and How-chow, and their history 
discloses little else than the usual train of invasions 
from without, and rebellions within, the empire; 
with cruelty and imbecility on the part of the reign- 
ing princes, unparalleled in the history of any other 
nation. The last of the How-tang dynasty, who 
had made his way to the throne by the murder of 
his brother, being himself attacked, in the year 
936, collected all the imperial badges, to which he 
set fire, and committed himself, wife, and family 
to the flames. 

The Sung dynasty was founded byChaou-Kwang- 
yin, a celebrated general, during the minority of 
Kung-te, in the year 960. He was a friend to learn- 


fag, and opposed luxury in every shape, setting an 
example to his subjects, by restrictions in his own 
family. He was engaged in many wars with the 
subordinate princes, and died in 976, leaving his 
son, Tae-tsung, in possession of the crown. This 
prince was Succeeded by Chin-tsung, in 997; he 
was aH exceedingly weak prince, and consented to 
pay the Tartars a tribute, to avoid their incursions. 
He rendered himself ridiculous by his credulity, 
preserving with great care, two books, wrapped in 
yellow silk, which he believed had fallen from 
heaven, and contained the destiny of the Sung 
dynasty. By a census which he made, in 1014, 
of all the families who paid tribute, the number 
was found to be 9,955,729. He died in 1022* 
and the celestial books were buried with him. His 
immediate successors were only characterised by 
the usual imbecility of the sovereigns of the Ce- 
lestial Empire. In the reign of Chin-tsung, learn- 
ing was patronized, though a belief in materialism 
disputed possession with the idols. Hwuy-tsung, 
who ascended the throne in 1100, revived once 
more the power of the eunuchs, on whom he con- 
ferred the principal offices of state. He was taken pri- 
soner in an expedition against the Tartars, in 1125. 
His son, Prin-tsung, in vain attempted his liberation, 
and the repulsion of the Tartars, who were making 
periodical encroachments on the empire. His 
brother succeeded him in 1127, and endeavoured 
by servile adulation, to bring the invading hordes 
4 z 


to a treaty. He styled himself Chin, "Servant/* 
in addressing them, but he could not repel their 
attacks. In the reign of Heaou-tsung, 1162, lived 
the celebrated commentator Choo-he, whose writ- 
ings on the classics are much esteemed. Ning* 
tsung invited the Mongols, in 1 194, to drive the Kin 
Tartars out of China. They did so, but retained 
the country, which they had occupied, for them- 
selves. They were headed by the invincible 
Genghis Khan, who brought province after province 
under his subjection, amidst the most terrible car- 
nage. In the reign of Too -tsung, 1266, the Tartars 
were led on by the celebrated Kublai Khan* grand- 
son of Genghis, while the Chinese Empire was going 
to ruin, under a weak and licentious prince. Kublai 
pursued his designs in China without intermission, 
both by sea and land, andin 1277,during a minority, 
his fleet took possession of Canton. At length, in 
1279,theChinesefleet was completely destroyed, and 
Loo-seW'-foo, the prime minister, jumped overboard 
with the young Emperor, to prevent their (ailing 
into the hands of their conquerors. Thus ended 
the Sung dynasty, and a Tartar prince seated him- 
self on the throne of China. 

Kublai Khan — Che-yuen — was but twenty-seven 
years old when he founded the Mongol or Y«em 
dynasty, 1280. Having firmly seated himself on die 
throne, he laid aside tfee sword, and endeavoured, by 
peaceful measures, to win the hearts of his subjects. 
But, in consequence of his bestowing all the pro- 


vincial governments upon his Tartar and Saracen 
followers, the natives regarded him with a feeling of 
hatred, which no benefits he conferred upon them 
could ever eradicate. Shortly after his accession, he 
was called into the field to quell a conspiracy which 
was formed against him by his uncle, Nayan, who 
attacked him with an army of 400,000 horse. With 
about an equal force he obtained a signal victory 
over the rebel, who, on being taken prisoner, was 
shaken between two carpets until he expired : this 
mode of execution was used, lest the sun and air 
should witness the shedding of the blood of one of 
the Imperial family. Those of his troops who sur- 
vived, swore allegiance to Kublai. This Emperor's 
thirst for conquest did not forsake him after his 
attainment of the Chinese sceptre. Having deter* 
mined on bringing Japan to subjection, he armed 
four thousand vessels, and despatched them for that 
purpose. The result wae a miserable failure. The 
greater number of the ships were wrecked, and 
most of the soldiers who eseaped from them were 
massacred by the Japanese, while those that sur- 
vived were only spared to be retained in slavery. 
The desire to engage the minds of his subjects, who 
were much inclined to rebellion, caused him to 
keep them continually in a state of warfare. The 
Chinese empire was never so extensive as in his 
reign. From the Frozen Sea, almost to the Straits 
of Malacca, his dominion was undisputed. All the 
Mongol Princes, as far as the Dnieper, with th* 


exception of those of Hindostan, Arabia, and the 
western parts of Asia, yielded him tribute, as his vas- 
sals. Busied thus with warlike projects, he did not 
neglect the arts of peace. He encouraged the study 
of astronomy, for which he caused new instruments 
to be made, and suppressed the Taou sect, which 
kept the people in a degraded state of delusion, 
though it cannot be denied that he was weak 
enough to adopt the doctrines of Buddhism. His 
wise policy was insufficient to suppress the mutinous 
spirit of the Mongols, against whom he was fire* 
quently obliged to carry his arms. This rebellious 
spirit was such a source of annoyance to him that it 
accelerated his death, in 1294. He was succeeded by 
his grandson, Timur-Khan — Yuen-Ching — a weak 
prince, yet untainted with bigotry, which he testified 
by reducing the Buddhist priests, as well as those of 
Taou, to a level with the lower orders. He endea- 
voured to suppress the numerous bands of robbers, 
who had become so daring as to lay siege to the 
imperial cities, and treated the rebellious Mongol 
chiefs with great severity. Iq 1307 he was suc- 
ceeded by Woo-tsung, who resigned himself to wine 
and women, and brought the priests once more 
into power. At his death, in 1311, his brother, 
Jin-tsung, came to the throne. He encouraged the 
doctrines of Confucius, and erected colleges and 
schools for their diffusion, which was further en- 
joined by express edicts. The works of the phi- 
losopher were translated into the Mongol language, 


and titles were conferred upon those who were well 
versed in their contents. This emperor died in 
1320, and was succeeded by his son Ying-tsung, a 
young prince of much promise, who was assassinated 
in his tent, in 1323. His successor, Ye-sun-temur 
found the palace filled with lazy priests, eunuchs, 
and astrologers, whom his ministers, after much 
persuasion, -succeeded in causing him to banish 
from the country, which was nearly overrun with 
Lamas, who preyed upon it like a swarm of locusts. 
At his death, 1328, his second son, Too-temur, was 
proclaimed emperor, but to prevent a dispute he 
yielded the diadem to his elder brother Ho-chila, 
who gave a sumptuous banquet on the day of his 
accession, at which he suddenly dropped down 
dead, as many suppose from poison. Too-temur 
next assumed the reins of government, which he 
held but feebly, abandoning himself to the control 
of the priests. His superstition and misrule were 
the origin of many rebellions, which not long 
after produced the fall of the Mongol dynasty. He 
died in 1332. To-hwan-temur was a still more 
worthless prince, and but thirteen years old when 
he ascended the throne. While he was indulging 
in degrading pleasures, his people were suffering 
from accumulated distress, principally caused by 
famine, which was so great in 1342, that they were 
obliged to feed upon human flesh. The spirit of 
insubordination was not slow in spreading through 
the empire, and the coasts and rivers were infested 


by pirates, who are said to have had 10,000 vessels 
under their command. A member of the Sung 
family proclaimed himself emperor, but his reign 
was of short duration. Several of the Mongol chiefs 
made a like attempt, but failed, after the commission 
of many excesses. The emperor fled, at length, in 
1368, before the victorious arms of Choo-yuen- 
chang,* and died two years afterwards. 

* This prince was also called Hung-woo, and received the name 
of Tae-tsoo— Grand Sire— in " the Hall of Ancestors/' The founder 
of the Leang Dynasty had five national designations bestowed on 
him, and some emperors have even exceeded that number. 


Outlines of Chinese History— concluded. 

The Mongol tyranny now drew to its close: and 
with this auspicious period begins the modern his- 
tory of China. Hung- woo, a poor labourer who had 
enlisted in the army, and who acquired a reputa- 
tion for courage which procured him rapid pro* 
motion, conceived the design of forming a party to 
expel the barbarians. He speedily carried his 
project into effect, gave a pitched battle to the 
Mongols, in which he entirely defeated them, and 
overrunning the country, wherever the Mongol 
soldiers were to be found, he extirpated the whole 
race, and ascended the throne, laying the founda- 
tion of the Ming Dynasty. His wisdom cemented 
the empire which his bravery had won. China 
was now in a condition of unprecedented prosperity* 
Ambassadors from the King of Korea, and the Loo 
Choo Islands were received at Court, 1383. Hung- 
woo, the gallant vindicator of his country's freedom, 
conferred lasting benefits upon the empire, through- 
out a long and vigorous reign, and was succeeded 
by his grandson Keen-w&n-te, in 1398. There 
was but one point of weakness in Hung-woo. His 
attachment to his children led him to bestow prin- 
cipalities upon them, which were ultimately pro* 


ductive, as experience might have warned him, of 
fresh discord. 

The young emperor was exposed to the imme- 
diate jealousy of his uncles, who entered into a 
conspiracy against him, but he adopted at once the 
energetic measure of depriving them of their 
principalities. But this bold step produced a 
rebellion, headed by one of the princes, and when 
the hostile force had reached the gates of the capital, 
Nan-king, the emperor was compelled to sue for 
mercy. But victory was in the hands of the 
enemy, and the city was deluged with blood. All 
the adherents of the young monarch were put to 
death. Yung-lo, the new emperor, was a man of 
considerable military talent: he carried fire and 
sword into the northern plains of the Tartars, and 
reduced Cochin-China, and Tunkin, to Chinese 
provinces. He next passed into the desert wastes of 
Tartary, and having concluded a campaign of 
mere territorial aggrandizement, he returned home 
in 1425, and died. His immediate successors 
found some difficulty in governing Cochin-China, 
which proved rather a harassing dependency; and 
when a young emperor, with a favourite eunuch, at 
the head of 500,000 men marched against a large 
army of Tartars, who, inspired by their dissensions, 
advanced into China, he was made prisoner, and 
the conqueror marched direct upon Peking. In 
the mean time, 1450, King-te ascended the throne, 
made head against the enemy, and released the 


emperor, who, however, surrendered the imperial 
honours to his deliverer. But he was subsequently 
induced to re-ascend the throne, in consequence of 
the remonstrances of the nobility. Choo-keen-shin , 
his successor, established an inquisition of eunuchs 
which gave great offence to the mandarins ; and in 
the following year the doctrines of the Taou sect, 
who sought after the draught of immortality, were 
revived. At this period a census was taken which 
shewed that China contained a population of 
53,000,000 of inhabitants. 

The rest of the Ming dynasty was distinguished 
by civil wars, and attempts to revive the superstition 
of the water of eternal life. But a most important 
event was the incursion of the Japanese, who, 
taking advantage of the state of the empire, de- 
scended upon the maritime stations, and made great 
ravages. In 1592 they invaded Korea, where they 
made a successful stand, and declared themselves 
masters of the kingdom. A Chinese fleet hovered 
between Japan and Korea, while a Japanese 
squadron ranged along the Chinese coast ; at last, 
after a delay of five years, the enemy evacuated 
Korea, and the emperor of Japan was denounced 
by the arrogant Chinese as a traitor. The cele- 
brated Ricci arrived in China about this time, and 
attempted to disseminate the doctrines of the church 
Of Rome, but he was rejected by the court. In 
1618, the Mantchoo Tartars resumed hostilities, 
attacking and defeating the Chinese forces. The 


confusion and consternation created by these cir- 
cumstances, inspired a numerous band of native 
robbers with confidence. They collected a large 
army, and ravaging several provinces, their 
chief leader, Le, was proclaimed emperor by a body 
of the Imperial troops that had flocked to his 
standard. The rebel marched to the capital, and 
after a scene of dreadful carnage, obtained entrance 
through the treachery of an eunuch* The Emperor 
seeing that all was lost, strangled himself, having 
first killed his daughter with a sword, that she 
might not survive the disgrace. The Empress 
also committed suicide, and the royal example was 
followed by a faithful eunuch. Thus ended the 
Ming dynasty, whose rule was much more con- 
tracted than that of its predecessors, owing to the 
weakness of the emperors, and the domestic feuds 
of the princes. 

While these events were taking place at Peking, 
the Mantchoo Tartars, assisted by a Chinese 
general, who vowed to revenge the fall of his master, 
prepared to make war against Le. The progress 
of the troops was rapid, brilliant, and successful, 
and the usurper being compelled to fly, the 
Tartars, in violation of their engagement with their 
Chinese ally, seized upon the throne. They pro- 
claimed the ninth son of their King, Tae-tsung, a 
boy seven years of age, Emperor of China, in the 
year 1644. Some attempts were made to dethrone 
him, but he succeeded in founding the Ta-tsing 


dynasty, which had lasted from that time to the 
present day. The victories of the Tartars oyer 
those Princes who ventured to dispute their 
power were signal and sanguinary. On one occa- 
sion they put a Prince to a most revolting death, 
and wherever they went, they carried devastation. 
They might be said to have built up their throne 
upon human bodies. Several Princes, seeing no 
hope in their desperate circumstances, put them* 
selves to death, while whole masses of troops were 
driven into rivers, or famished in besieged towns. 
At length, the Princes of Chin, Yih, and Leaou, 
called a solemn assembly at Canton, and pro- 
claimed Choo-yue-gaou, brother of one of the 
Ming Princes, Emperor. The Tartars, hearing of 
this daring act, proceeded to Canton, and put the 
Princes to death ; but advancing further into the 
province, and treating the Chinese soldiers with 
contempt, they suffered several defeats, and were 
finally nearly annihilated. This was a signal for 
fresh insurrections. A new Emperor was announced, 
and those who followed him cut off their tails — the 
badge of Mantchoo servitude. But all attempts to 
shake off the Tartar yoke were fruitless. The new 
Emperor, Yung-leit, embraced Christianity, and his 
ehief officers were Christians. His conversion, 
announced to the Pope in a letter written by his 
wife and mother, took place in 1649. This unfor- 
tunate Prince was afterwards strangled in an enter- 
prise he undertook into a qeighbouring province. 


A robber chieftain, who under the title of Se- 
vang, proclaimed himself Emperor, took possession 
at this time of the province of Sze-chuen, and gave 
considerable trouble to the Tartars. He massacred 
all the literati within his reach, put whole regiments 
of soldiers to death, when one of the body happened 
to displease him, and also a whole assembly of 
Buddhist priests, whom he had invited to an 
entertainment. When one of his generals, terri- 
fied by his cruelties, deserted to the Mantchoos, 
he, by way of revenge, committed a carnage in the 
capital, in which 600,000 persons lost their lives. 
Such were the horrors of a period of unexampled bar- 
barism ; but the worst remains to be told. At the 
approach of the Mantchoos, he butchered 400,000 
females, first making an example of his own con- 
cubines, for the sake of getting rid of the incum- 
brance; and for this, and all his other acts of 
cruelty, he was assassinated in the front of the ranks 
by one of his own soldiers. The Tartars took pos- 
session of his usurped property, and the brigands 

The Tartars now adopted measures of pacification. 
They had yet, however, to subjugate Canton, 
which, although the governor, a descendant of 
Confucius, advised the people to send in their 
adherence, sustained a siege of eight months, being 
protected by a very powerful fleet. A traitor, 
however, within the walls, betrayed the city, and it 
was given up to pillage in 1650. The next achieve- 


ment of the Tartars was at Nan-King, whence they 
made a sally in the night, and drove out the warlike 
Ching-ching-kung, who, master of a great squadron, 
had long hung like a cloud upon the coast. By 
degrees the empire now began to subside into 
repose. The Tartars encouraged the sciences, and 
widely profited by the knowledge of the people 
whom they had vanquished. It is to be observed, 
however, that whenever Ambassadors were sent 
to their court, they rejected them if they refused 
to make those prostrations which the sovereignty of 
the Celestial Empire demands from foreigners. 
Their civilization was confined within their own 
notions of right and wrong ; they accorded nothing 
to the state of civilization elsewhere. 

In the reign of Kang-he, a conspiracy was 
detected at Peking, in which a vast number of 
Chinese had joined. The project was to have been 
carried into effect on new year's day, when the 
mandarins and grandees had repaired to the Impe- 
rial palace. The conspirators intended to take 
advantage of the concourse, and to put the whole 
assembly to death. Had their plan succeeded, it is 
not improbable that the Chinese, acquiring confi- 
dence from success, might have wrested the throne, 
by the force of numbers, from the hands of the 
Mantchoos; but the plot was discovered, and its 
ringleaders executed. The provincial governor, 
however, who was the chief mover of the plan, 
escaped, and organising a strong army, in which he 


was assisted by other potentates, prepared to make 
head against the Emperor, while in the north, the 
borders were threatened by a descent of the Mon- 
golians. If these forees had not been distracted by 
private feuds, and if Kang-he had not been a 
resolute and energetic man, the sovereignty must 
hare been placed in danger a second time. But the 
Princes were so divided amongst themselves, that 
they fell an easy prey to the well-directed and cou- 
rageous troops that the Emperor brought into the 

It may fairly be suspected that the statistics of the 
Chinese historians are of doubtful value. In their 
accounts of great battles, they describe so frightful 
an amount of carnage, that it is difficult to place 
any reliance upon their statements. The slaughter 
of a small city suggests to the chronicler many 
hundreds of thousands; and a plague at Pefciu, 
which happened shortly after these rebellions, is said 
to have swallowed 400,000 persons. We have no 
means of rectifying these assertions, but we may be 
permitted to question their accuracy. 

It was the policy of the Tartars to prohibit foreign 
commerce. The Prince of Canton, whose position 
near the month of a navigable river in direct commu- 
nication with the sea, held a different opinion; and 
permitting commercial intercourse to be carried on 
with Foreigners, he had, in a few years, amassed a 
considerable fortune. This offence against the laws 
was not to be forgiven. The Tartar troops were 


drawn oat, when a silken cord, transmitted by the 
Emperor lor that purpose, was handed to the Prince, 
who was led forth, and strangled himself on the 
spot. One hundred of his officers suffered a similar 
death. This was, at least, a very intelligent hint to 
all future governors, upon the subject of commercial 

The only place within convenient reach of the 
Chinese empire that had, up to this lime, maintained 
its independence, was Formosa, which nine years 
previously had yielded before the armies of Ching* 
ching-kung. A viceroy was sent from Peking to 
-subdue it, and, after repeated attempts, he at last 
succeeded. The governor submitted, was summoned 
to the capital, and, contrary to custom, treated with 
great clemency and kindness, the Emperor extend- 
ing his generosity so for as to create him a Count. 
The possession of Formosa, which is an extremely 
fertile island, has proved to be very valuable to 

The next undertaking of the Emperor's was a 
descent on the Eleuths, and Kalkas, who had long 
disturbed the repose of the country. He suddenly 
crossed the great wall, and falling upon them before 
they were aware of his approach, he utterly dis- 
comfited them. Throughout the whole of these 
warlike movements, the Emperor zealously cul- 
tivated the sciences, particularly mathematics. 
Nor did his cruel acts of revenge divert him from 
the pursuit of knowledge* After sacrificing to his 


ambition in the morning, by putting hordes Of 
enemies and rebels to death, he is described to have 
enjoyed himself in abstruse study with the Jesuits, 
whom he encouraged, in the evening. 

The influence of the Imperial throne was greatly 
increased by these intestine broils, which terminated 
without a single exception in favour of the Emperor. 
The strength of the empire was now consolidated 
for the first time under a single head, acknowledged 
by all parties. It was the moment to improve the 
administration of domestic affairs, and, by taking 
advantage of the calm, to acquire means for future 
enterprises. The Emperor, to increase his popu- 
larity, made repeated tours into the provinces, and 
endeavoured to give a stimulus to literary men, but 
unfortunately the soil he worked upon was barren, 
for there was no creative genius in China. He pub- 
lished a Chinese dictionary, and, apprehending that 
his native language might fall into disuetude, he 
also published a dictionary of the Mantchoo. He 
had maps made of the provinces, which are said to 
have been equal in accuracy to European maps 
of the eighteenth century. 

While he was absent in Tartary, in 1701, his 
eldest son organized a conspiracy against his brother 
with a view to secure the throne to himself* His 
brother was in consequence cast into prison, but the 
Emperor discovering that he had been deceived, 
condemned his eldest son to perpetual imprison- 
ment. These domestic griefs preyed upon his 


spirits, and he nearly sunk under a malady from 
which he was preserved only by the skill of the 
Jesuits. Some years afterwards his generals re- 
duced Thibet, and annexed it to the empire, which 
was the last act of glory in his reign. At the close of 
the summer of 1722, he was attacked by a blast of 
the northerly wind, and died on the 20th of 
December, bequeathing the empire to his fourth 
son, Yung-ching. 

To Kang-he belongs the merit — achieved through 
a ^very devious course of good and evil — of van- 
quishing all the enemies of China ; increasing its 
territory; consolidating the state; improving its 
finances ; and diminishing the pressure of taxation. 
He may, with historical truth, be said to have been 
the greatest monarch that ever occupied the Impe- 
rial throne. When he came to the sovereignty, he 
found the country impoverished by protracted 
wars, the people discontented and divided, and 
destitute of all hope of accomplishing the desirable 
objects of peace and security. When he died, 
China was prosperous, united, and happy. Much 
of his success must be attributed to his wise choice 
of ministers. He did not hesitate to derive artizans 
from Europe, and to encourage the Jesuits at his 
court, to whose knowledge he was largely indebted 
for the course he pursued. But the good which he 
did in this way was rapidly shaken by his successor, 
who inherited all the ignorance and prejudice of the 
earlier times of Pagan idolatry. 
4 2 a 


Yung-ching addressed himself in the first instance 
to the extirpation of Christianity, which he hated, 
and which was making rapid strides in the empire. 
For this purpose he banished all the Missionaries. 
But, with the exception of this rooted aversion to 
the religion of Europe, he was in other respects a 
just and benevolent Prince. He alleviated the 
misery of prisoners, conferred rewards wherever 
they were deserved, advanced his officers on account 
of their merits, and encouraged the industrious 
classes. He seems to have been a Malthusian, even 
before the doctrines of that philosophy were ex- 
pounded, for we find amongst his acts of charity, 
that he bestowed premiums upon all widows who 
refused to marry a second time. The Empress 
aided him in these works of kindness, by bestowing 
similar favours upon the oppressed and destitute of 
her own sex. It is related of him, however, that 
although he was a paternal governor, he exhibited 
strong personal prejudices, as in the case of a par- 
ticular family, against whom he conceived so violent 
a hatred that he never ceased to persecute them. 
He died in 1753, and went to the grave unlamented, 
having failed to impress upon the people any last- 
ing feelings of reverence or respect. 

He was succeeded by Keen-lung, a warlike prince, 
who signalized himself at once, in a descent upon 
the Kalmuks, more than a million of whom, accord- 
ing to the voracious historians, fell under his arms. 
The war terminated in 1757, and the kingdoms of 


the Kirghiz Kairaks, Booroots, and Khokards, ac- 
knowledged the supremacy of China, which now 
surveyed a dominion of greater extent than was 
ever before known. 

Farther employment for the troops was found in 
Little Bukharia, into which the Emperor penetrated 
for the purpose of subjugating two Mohammedan 
Princes, who had dared to raise the standard of re* 
bellion. A part of the conquered territory was 
added to the province of Kan-suh, and the remainder 
constitutes the present site of the eight Mohamme- 
dan cities. These victories were distinguished by 
isolated acts of mere brutality, which marked 
the spirit in which they were undertaken and 

A war now broke out on the border lands of Ava, 
and Yun-nan. It is not improbable that Keen-lung, 
who loved to be engaged in conflicts, sought this 
war upon some slight pretext; but it is endea- 
voured to be excused on the ground of the frequent 
incursions of the Birmahs. However that may be, 
a large army, made up of Chinese and Mantchoos, 
entered Birmah, in 1797, and were nearly cut to 
pieces, only a few remaining alive, to return home 
with the tragical story of their companions' fate. 
Keen-lung, however, resolved to persevere, and 
embarked another army upon the Kin-sha river. 
This expedition was as unfortunate as the former. 
The soldiery were swept away by the jungle fever, 
and the General was glad to conclude a peace upon 


any terms, with an enemy who seemed equally for- 
tified by troops and climate. 

The next affair that engaged the attention of this 
restless Prince, was with a few Thibetian tribes, 
who occupied a valley in the province of Sze-chuen- 
These people, who lived in stone forts, and were 
very courageous, originally drew upon themselves 
the notice of the Chinese, by feuds that had grown 
up among them upon the point of supremacy. The 
Chinese interfered and were beaten. This led the : 
Thibetians to estimate their own powers rather too 
highly, and they presumed, from time to time, to 
make incursions into the Celestial Empire. Keen- 
lung gladly seized upon the excuse for attacking 
them, and sending a favourite general amongst 
them, at the head of a large army, he speedily sue- 
ceeded in reducing them. As usual, the Chiefs 
were all put to death. 

The cruelties of Keen-lung produced consider- 
able discontent amongst the Chinese, and a rebel- 
lion broke out, headed by a priest, and a Shan-tung 
man; but it was soon extinguished. The priest 
was put to death, and his accomplice hung himself 
in his own house. Another rebellion, which had a 
similar conclusion, was concerted by the Pih-leen- 
keaou, or " Sect of the Water-lily," which has 
since become a very numerous community in 
China. They fought with great ferocity, until they 
were overcome by superior numbers. The Chief 
and his two wives, the one bearing a white, and the 


other a black banner, fought side by side, and fell 
together on the field of battle. Insurrection, how- 
ever, did not terminate here. The Mohammedans, 
who had suffered much injustice, through the ex- 
tortionate conduct of the Mandarins, rose en, masse, 
in the neighbourhood of Kan-suh, and ravaged the 
adjoining provinces. The rebels were destroyed 
without much difficulty, and Keen-lung, on .ascer- 
taining that the cause of the revolt lay in the* op- 
pressions of the Mandarins, sentenced the Viceroy 
to death. His Imperial Majesty relented of this 
sentence ; and, instead of putting the real offender 
to death, satisfied his sense of justice by substitut- 
ing a former Viceroy of Canton, who had nothing 
to do with the matter, in his stead. 

A quarrel, amongst the Mohammedans, inha- 
biting that part of Bukharia which had been an- 
nexed to Kan-suh, gave occasion for further warlike 
measures. The Mohammedans were divided into 
two sects, designated Red and White Caps, from 
the colour of their, turbans. The White Caps accused 
the antagonist sect of having departed from the strict 
laws of the Koran, and carried their feud so far that 
the Governor banished 10,000 ofthem. They depart 
ed breathing vengeance, and, obtaining succour from 
their brethren in Tan-goot, raised an army of 100,000 
strong, with which they prepared to invade China. 
On their way, the Mohammedan leader was inter- 
cepted and made prisoner. . This event, however, 
did not discourage them* They advanced into 


Kan-suh, and massacred all the Chinese they en- 
countered. When they arrived at the capital, they 
learned that a powerful Chinese army was march- 
ing against them ; and, satisfied with the success 
they had already obtained, they returned home to 
their remote retreats, carrying with them a large 
booty, which they had secured in the expedition. 
A-kwei, the Chinese General, followed them to 
their strongholds, and taking up his position on 
the opposite bank of the river, he employed him- 
self in cutting off their supplies of water. Thus 
circumstanced, the Mohammedans resolved to put 
their families to death, for the purpose of reducing 
the demands upon their remaining stock, and then 
to cut their way through the ranks of the enemy. 
A-kwei, wearied with wasting their resources by de- 
tail, at length appeared before the fortress ; and, 
as they refused to submit, took it by storm, and 
killed all the inhabitants, except a few of the 
Chiefs, whom he sent to Peking, that his Imperial 
Majesty might have the pleasure of seeing them 
killed himself. Keen-lung resolved to take a com- 
plete revenge, and ordered that all the Mohamme- 
dans, above the age of fifteen, should be killed in 
the province of Kan-suh. This order was punc- 
tually executed, and the treason and the traitors 

Shortly after this, Cochin-China, Tun-kin, and 
An-nam, asserted their independence, and it was 
not thought prudent to adopt any measures to re- 


call them to subjugation. An attempt to secure 
their freedom was also made by the people of For- 
mosa, and it was only at a considerable cost, in the 
way of bribery, that it was finally quelled. This 
was in 1788. 

During the absence of one of the Chiefs of Thi- 
bet, the Nepaulese, allured by rapine, scoured that 
country, and carried o ffcertain golden vessels and 
ornaments, belonging to the places of worship. The 
Emperor was entreated to interfere, and he sent 
70,000 men to chastise the Gorkhas. The result was, 
that, after penetrating into Nepaul, to within sixty 
miles of the British frontier, he reduced the Gork- 
has to subjection, and rendered Thibet more sub- 
servient to him than ever. 

Keen-lung had now reigned sixty years, and 
wearied with a scene of incessant turmoil, he 
resigned the throne at the age of eighty-five to his 
fifth son; but not until he had the pleasure of 
receiving at his court Ambassadors from England* 
and Holland. His character was not impressive, 
it fluctuated with circumstances. He was a patron 
of learning, but he had not a steady passion for it; 
and although he was occasionally kind to his 
subjects, his many cruelties obliterated the memory 
of his incidental virtues. 

Kea-king, his successor, a. d. 1796, inherited all 
his vices, and possessed others of his own. He was a 
complete sensualist, and was destitute of all capacity 

* Lord Macartney was the minister on that occasion. 


for business. His mixed imbecility and cruelty 
provoked a conspiracy, but it was discovered and 
prevented, and the chief leader put to death, 
together with his younger son, who was strangled 
as an act of mercy. The suppression of the 
meditated rebellion seemed only to increase the 
vices of the Emperor, who now surrendered himself 
to the most effeminate habits. But he was 
awakened from his supine indulgences by the 
depredations of the daring pirates, who, with a 
formidable squadron, under the eyes of the Manda- 
rins, cruised along the coasts of Cochin-China, 
Canton, and Formosa, taking the government 
junks wherever they met with them. At length 
an Imperial fleet was fitted out against them, and 
seeing themselves opposed by a superior force, they 
offered to surrender. This proposal was accepted, 
both fleets weighed anchor to enter into the pro- 
posed arrangement, and the pirates, having thrown 
the Imperial squadron off their guard, took advan- 
tage of the opportunity, and made their escape. 
Their adroitness in evading the vigilance of the 
Government, served to make them more bold in 
their exploits ; and they proceeded so far with 
impunity as to levy a tax upon all merchant- 
vessels trading with the port. They had regular 
plans of operation, permanent agents at Canton, 
and Amuy merchants, who fitted out their vessels, 
and supplied them with the muniments of war.. 
Some of the accounts estimate their strength at 


70,000, navigating 800 large, and 1000 small 
vessels. They separated into six squadrons, each 
distinguished by a different coloured flag. Their 
commander imitated the chivalry of the old pirates, 
and when he was drowned, his wife assumed the 
authority, and appointed a poor fisher-boy her 
lieutenant. When the Government sent a squadron 
of forty Imperial junks against these sovereigns of 
the water, they were glad to save twelve of their 
number from the destruction that fell upon the 
remainder. Shortly after, a squadron of fifteen 
junks was sent against them, and shared the same 
fate. Another fleet followed, and when the Man- 
darin in command saw the great number of his 
enemy's vessels he attempted to escape, but they 
pursued him, jumped into the sea, and boarded six 
of his junks. The pirates were not always, however, 
triumphant. On one occasion a fleet of 100 sail 
attacked them, and set them on fire, when two hun- 
dred of their number were made prisoners, and se- 
veral junks were taken. They redeemed themselves 
from this disgrace in the two next engagements, 
under command of the widow already mentioned, 
when they swept the Imperial squadron twice from 
the ocean. The Chinese authorities finding that 
they could not subdue these fierce rebels by warlike 
means, had recourse at last to preventive mea- 
sures. They cut off all supplies, detained all vessels 
in the harbour, and allowed no external communi- 
cation. This movement had no other effect than 


that of forcing the pirates up the rivers, and inducing 
them to commit fresh depredations along the 
banks. In these circumstances it became necessary 
to try still farther measures, and accordingly, the 
Government engaged the Portuguese at Macao to 
assist them with several well-manned vessels: but 
with no better fortune. The whole armament was 
defeated, and driven off by the Ladrones. It is 
difficult to conjecture how long this state of things 
might have lasted, if dissensions among the pirates 
had not led one of their chiefs to offer his services 
to Government. The Emperor availed himself of 
the proposal, received the repentant rebel with his 
attendant force of 8000 men, and made him a 
naval Mandarin. The desertion of this chief led to 
an act of submission on the part of the heroic woman 
who had so long guided the rebellious junks. She 
sailed up towards the Bocca Tigris, and the 
Governor of Canton met her with a view to conclude 
the stipulated peace ; but the appearance of some 
war junks at a distance, induced her to suspect that 
treachery was intended, and she hoisted sail and 
put out to sea. At length, however, she was 
re-assured of the sincerity of the Government, and 
a treaty was finally drawn up, by which the bucca- 
neers obtained all that they required, and the 
Government relieved itself from one of the most 
dangerous of its enemies. 

But the throne was still exposed to perils from 
within, A band of robbers who roved in the wilds 


of Pi-chi-le conceived the extravagant idea of 
attacking the Imperial palace. The plan was well 
laid, but the vigilance of the troops overthrew the 
daring insurrectionists. The chief movers in the 
plot were sentenced to a slow and torturing death. 

In 1817, a drought afflicted China, and accord- 
ing to the ancient superstition, Kea-king sought to 
avert it by prayers and sacrifices. It does not 
appear, however, that his pious fraud succeeded. 
On the 2nd of September, 1820, he died, after a 
reign, remarkable only for the numerous rebellions 
to which it gave rise. 

Taou-kwang succeeded, and as his reign brings 
us to the present day, it does not require any 
particular observation. It is certain that China 
has improved under his rule, that the increase of 
commerce with England, although it is pursued 
under very disheartening circumstances, have 
yielded great benefit to the empire, and that the 
internal state of the country exhibits more tran- 
quillity than it did in any former reign. Some 
disturbances have broken out in the distant districts, 
amongst the Mohammedans in Turkestan, the 
people of Formosa, and the Meaou-tsze. These 
revolutions, however, have given way before the 
consolidated strength of the throne ; and, while it 
must be confessed that China is but little improved 
in knowledge, morality, or that sort of wisdom 
which is derived from experience ; it must at the 
same time be admitted that the extension of our 


rule in India, the growing example of other states 
reaching China upon her borders, and the labours 
of the Missionaries, have contributed to soften the 
rigours of her governors, and to render them in 
some measure less barbarous than they were. 
They are still arrogant and vain-glorious, but 
they know that they durst not be so sanguinary, 
at least in their proceedings with other nations. 


Departure from Macao — Passage through the Straits of Banca and 
Sunda— Malay Pirates— The Ship Guilford— Enter the Indian 
Ocean — Description of the Cocoas or Reeling's Islands — Ennui on 
Ship-board — Swan River an Estuary — Conflicting opinions of the 
capabilities of the Settlement — Arrival at Van Diemen's Land. 

Having now closed my remarks on the sub- 
ject of China, its manners, institutions, and history, 
I will resume my diary. But before I take my; 
final leave of the Celestial Empire, I desire to ac- 
knowledge the obligation I owe to the Canton 
Register, an English Journal commenced in 1827,< 
and the Chinese Repository, established at a later 
date. Both these works are written by gentle- 
men who are practically acquainted with China, 
and they may be safely consulted upon all points 
of interest and importance, in reference to our 
relations with that country. I have the - plea- 
sure of being able to add, that a Magazine, in the 
Chinese language, for the sole use of the people, 
has been recently established by Europeans. This 
work is likely to prove a great benefit, in the dis- 
semination of sound philosophical opinions, and 
general information. Mr. Gutzlaff also, has con* 
tributed largely to our stock of Eastern knowledge, 
by his valuable researches in Chinese history, his 
translations of many Chinese works, &c. &c. 


Monday, December 20, 1830. —At day-break we 
left our anchorage in Macao Roads, and made all 
sail to proceed on our voyage, with a strong n.e. 

" The gallant vessel goes before the wind ! 
Her parting sail* swell stately to the mom, 
She leaves the green earth, and its hills behind/* 

Having satisfied my curiosity in the only portion 
of this immense Empire which foreigners are 
allowed to visit, I bade it adieu without regret, 
being eager to escape from the meshes of chicanery 
and immorality with which the vicinity of Canton 
abounds. In the midst of native depravity, however, 
it was with peculiar pleasure that I found a small 
circle of my countrymen residing here, equally re- 
spectable and social, so much so, that my temporary 
residence among them was rendered extremely inte- 
resting and delightful. The over-reaching and insult- 
ing conduct of the Chinese tends to produce that in- 
stinctive union, on the part of the Foreign residents, 
which is absolutely necessary to repel oppressive 
treatment, or secure the slightest civility from the 
inhabitants. But little firmness is requisite, how- 
ever, to put down their unjust enactions, or to 
oppose the measures they so frequently use by way 
of intimidation. The government authorities affect, 
upon all occasions, to treat the Foreign trade with 
contempt, though its beneficial results are suf- 
ficiently palpable from the large proportion of the 
revenue which is derived from Canton, and also 


the facility of its collection: thousands of the 
labouring classes pour into this city annually from 
the neighbouring provinces, and find a ready sub- 
sistence for themselves and families through the 
various channels of that intercourse they pretend to 
despise. When our trade was stopped at the end 
of 1829, the people became so clamorous for its 
renewal, that the local government were obliged to 
accede to their wishes. And again, still more re- 
cently, I mean when the angry correspondence was 
going on, relating to Lord Napier's arrival in Can- 
ton without the Hoppo's pass; among the many 
edicts that were issued by the Governor, there was 
one forbidding all outside merchants from trading 
with Foreigners. This prohibition affected the 
interest of so many persons, that a great mob 
assembled at the Governor's gate to petition for 
the removal of the grievance, which request was 
speedily complied with. Indeed, the baleful con- 
sequences which must arise from the sudden stop- 
page of a long continued intercourse must be 
generally apparent. The collection of taxes is one 
of the most frequent causes of disturbance in the 
Celestial Empire; and, in consequence of the 
inability of the people to meet the demands of the 
Government, it is very commonly productive of 
fatal results : it is, therefore, evident that any tem- 
porary suspension of business must, under such 
circumstances, be regarded with universal dissatis- 


Eight days elapsed from the time of our de- 
parture from Macao, to our making the land of 
Sumatra, and on the following evening we anchored 
within view of the Monopin Hill. 

Wednesday, 29. — At noon, lat. 2°. 10'. s. we were 
again obliged to anchor towards evening, from 
the breeze entirely deserting us. I found the 
increasing heat of the weather produce the most 
beneficial results, in ridding me of the rheumatism, 
from which I had suffered so much. I could now 
only complain of debility, from which I was in 
hopes of recovering quickly. 

Thursday, 30. — We this morning entered the 
Straits of Banca, and in the course of the forenoon 
we passed two Dutch ships. At 1, p.m. the water 
became exceedingly shallow, there being only 15 
feet, while the ship drew 14. A boat was conse- 
quently despatched with the chief mate, to sound, 
between the vessel and the Sumatra shore. At 
4 o'clock, having passed the shoal, the boat re- 
turned on board, those who were in her having 
experienced a considerable broiling from the power- 
ful rays of the sun. At 8 in the evening, Lucepera 
Island bore n.e. by n. 

Tuesday, Jan. 4, 1831.— Since the 30th Decem- 
ber, on which day we cleared the Straits of Banca, 
we have made but little progress, in consequence 
of the variable state of the weather, the wind and 
currents being generally against us ; we usually 
anchored at night near one of the numerous islands 


which surrounded us, and kept under weigh dur- 
ing the day. We were at one time hut fifty miles 
from Batavia, and I fondly hoped that the cur- 
rents would drive us into that harbour, which, 
however, the Captain succeeded in avoiding, not 
being so anxious as myself to enter a port he was 
not bound for, and thereby subject himself, not 
only to the port charges, but to a delay not abso- 
lutely necessary. Commanders of men-of-war, 
who are not tied down by such considerations, 
are generally eager to avail themselves of such 
opportunities, by which they not only contribute 
to the amusepient, or satisfy the curiosity of those 
who are under their command, but materially 
benefit their health, by a supply of fresh provi- 
sions, fruit, and vegetables. 

We had anchored on the previous day under the 
lee of North Island, which we left this morning to 
pursue our passage through the Straits of Sunda, 
but the wind increased to so formidable a height, 
that we gladly returned to the same spot for 
shelter. We approached the land more closely, 
and the Captain, accompanied by the second officer 
and part of the crew, went on shore to procure wood 
and water from the main land of Sumatra. The 
Captain found the ground exceedingly marshy; and 
abounding with snipes, of which he shot a few. On 
his return, he went on board a schooner, under 
Dutch colours, that had just anchored. She was 

4 2 b 


laden with rice, and was on her passage from 
Batavia to Bencoolen. Her commander was an 
Englishman, and he had a countryman on board 
as a passenger. Captain Parkyns invited them on 
board, and we spent a very pleasant evening toge- 
ther. They favoured us with a few Singapore and 
Calcutta papers, and from them we had the first 
intimation of the French revolution; the intelligence 
of which had reached Batavia only a few days 
before, by a ship from Amsterdam. 

Wednesday y January 5. — As we remained at 
anchor, the crew continued to be employed in pro- 
curing wood and water. On a post near the 
watering place, it was found recorded, that Mr. 
Fullerton, late Governor of Penang, had been there 
recently, in the Governor-General's yacht, to wait 
the arrival of one of the H. C. ships from China, 
in which he had previously engaged his passage 
for England. We were visited throughout the day 
by the Malays, who came in their canoes, bring- 
ing with them monkeys, parrots, land tortoises, 
poultry, eggs, fruit, and vegetables for sale. The 
Dutch schooner, Allen, left us this morning. 

Thursday, 6. —The task of wooding and water- 
ing being finished, we departed from North Island 
soon after daylight this morning. There was a 
moderate breeze, which still blew against us, and 
freshening as the day advanced, the sea got up 
considerably. At noon we were in lat. 5.° 50.' s. 


Spoke the ship Manlius, Captain Johnson, bound 
from Singapore to England ; and in company 
with her, we bore away to return to our former 
anchorage. Captain Parkyns went on board the 
Manlius, after dinner, to gain intelligence, but 
there was nothing of importance to communicate, 
Captain Johnson informed him that he had sailed 
from England with convicts for Van Diemen's 
Land, under the charge of a superintendent sur- 
geon, Dr. Johnson, R. N., who was still on board 
as a passenger. Having discharged her convicts at 
Hobart Town, she proceeded thence to Soorabaya, 
Samarang, and Singapore, and obtained at the last 
place her freight for England. 

Friday,!. — At day-break, we got under weigh, 
and continued beating to windward until 5, p. m. 
The wind and tide were both so strong against us, 
that we despaired of getting round Hogg Point 
before dark, so as to enable us to reach Raj ah - 
Bassa Roads that evening. We therefore bore 
away, in company with the Dutch schooner, Allen, 
for Zoophen Island, under the lee of which we 
came to an anchor, and received another visit from 
Captain Biggs and his passenger. 

Saturday, 8. — We made sail, as usual, at day- 
light, and succeeded in reaching another anchor- 
age under the Sabooco Island, two miles from 
Rajah- Bassa Roads: Puolo-Bassa, bearing s.w.Js., 
and the Peak of Crocatoa s. by w. f w. We saw 
the Manlius again to-day, and a strange ship, sup- 


posed to be the Guildford, bound from Singapore 
to England. 

Sunday, 9. — A boat came off to-day from the 
Dutch residents at Puolo-Bassa, under the charge 
of two black men, one of them a ' mongrel' Portu- 
guese, and the other a ' mongrel 9 Dutchman. Thej 
brought with them a variety of provisions, of very 
untempting appearance and quality, such as half* 
starved ducks and fowls, rotten eggs, and an infe- 
rior kind of orange. We did not wait, however, to 
come to terms for these precious articles, but got 
under weigh, and they were afraid to follow us, in 
consequence, as they informed us, of the presence 
of two small pirate vessels at no great distance. 
In the afternoon, we anchored, with the Manlius, 
under Crocatoa Island . We learnt from the Captain, 
and Dr. Johnson, that they had been on shore, and 
saw two small prows at anchor between Crocatoa and 
Long Islands. From their suspicious appearance, 
being well manned and armed, we had no doubt of 
their being the pirates of which we had received a 
description in the morning. We accordingly kept 
a good look-out, to give them a proper reception in 
case of an attack during the night. It is at all 
times necessary, however, to be prepared for such 
a rencounter among these islands, as the practice of 
piracy is very general; almost every Malay vessel 
being accustomed to act as a pirate, whenever 
they meet with any merchant-vessel, which they 
think they can overpower. On such occasions 


they murder all on board without remorse, run the 
vessel on shore, plunder and burn her. 

Monday, 10. — At daylight we left our anchorage 
in company with the Manlius ; and, soon after our 
departure, got sight of the ship we had seen on 
Saturday, which proved to be the Guildford. At 
sunset we were under the lee of Prince's Island. 
The night was squally and rainy. 

Tuesday, 11. — Shortly after noon we entered the 
strait between Java and Prince's Islands. It was 
very pleasant sailing through the channel, though 
it was rather tantalizing to be within so short a dis- 
tance of the beautiful island of Java, without being 
able to make it a visit. Here we lost sight of the 
Guildford, to hear of her no more, as it was her 
melancholy fate never to reach England ; she is 
supposed to have foundered in one of those terrific 
hurricanes so frequent in these seas, having been 
last seen on her course, between Java and the Mau- 
ritius. We arrived in about two hours at the fur- 
ther extremity of the strait, and soon found our- 
selves abreast of a very dangerous reef, called 
the Carpenter Rocks, lying off the 8. w. point of 
Prince's Island. On passing beyond the shelter 
of this island, we were subjected to the increased 
strength of the wind and a heavy swell ; the former, 
however, being in our favour, we shaped our course 
to pass round Java-head, which was accomplished 
before dark, and thus fairly launched into the great 
Indian Ocean. We had now before us the dull and 


tedious monotony of along voyage, which presented 
rather a gloomy prospect to our minds, after the 
varied beauties of the numberless islands with which 
these straits are studded. A friend having favoured 
me with a detailed account of an interesting group 
called the Cocoas or Keeling's Islands, I will lay it 
before the reader, as a means of beguiling the 
tediousness of the voyage. The following private 
note will appropriately introduce the subject. 

" This group of islands is situated in the 
Southern Indian Ocean, nearly 600 miles to the 
s. w. of Java-head, and about 90 miles further, 
bearing west, from the nearest point of New Hol- 
land. They were first inhabited in 1825, by Capt. 
Le Cour, of the brig Mauritius, the fact having 
been recorded on the cocoa-nut trees, on which the 
names of himself, crew, and vessel are cut. Capt. 
John Ross, who commanded the Borneo, built by 
himself at the island of Borneo, with the assistance 
of the natives, formed a settlement here, consisting 
of Malays, Chinese, and English, to the number of 
thirty. His example was followed in 1827, by Mr. 
Alexander Hare, late British Resident of Borneo 
and its dependencies, who arrived in the Hippo- 
mines, with 130 Malays, men, women, and children. 
On Captain R.'s arrival, he found the remains of the 
huts which had been occupied by the crew of the brig 
Mauritius, and also several pits which they had dug 
for water. Some characters, apparently Arabic, 
were discovered cut on the trees. 




+ s< 

Turk's Head Reef. 


Direction Iiland. 
} Button Island. 

Rice Island, Mr. Hare's Resid. 
Alison Island. 


Ross Island. 

Long Island. 

Miser j Isld. 

Goat Isld. 


" It would be, perhaps, both useless and tedious 
to detail the plans that induced me and others to 
submit to voluntary banishment on these islands. I 
shall, therefore, pass it over, and inform you, that 
having, during my residence on them, borne up 
against privations of all sorts, I got away by a 
vessel going to Penang, in November, 1829 ; the 
following observations are the result of my twelve 
months' residence in different parts of the group, 
and they are at your service, to make whatever 
use of them you may think proper. 

" I remain, my dear Sir, 
Your's sincerely, 
Arthur Saunders Keating." 

The isles, great and small, are about thirty in 
number. By repeated observations, taken at the 
anchorage, Button Island bearing nearly e. and 
the body of Horsburg Island n. w., we found the 
lat. to be 12°. 14\ s. and long. 97*. 0'. e. Their 
length is about twelve miles, and their breadth 
eight and a half. The channels which run between 
them are formed by the surf which forces a body 
of water between the coral reefs. A vessel, on en- 
tering the bay, should keep well over towards Di- 
rection Island, with which she must sail parallel in 
eight fathoms, until she rounds the point; the water 
inside decreases to six and five and a half fathoms. 
Here a complete shelter is afforded from the pre- 
vailing s. e. trade, the wind never coming to the 
n. of e. The narrowness of the entrance renders 


these islands easy of defence. Vessels may lay 
snugly moored in the basin of Direction Island, 
undiscovered by ships at sea. The safety of the 
anchorage, and the salubrity of these islands, point 
them out as an excellent place for refitting, or 
rendezvous for shipping, in time of war ; the facility 
of obtaining refreshments after a long cruise, being 
a still further inducement. 

The rocks are black coral which are easily seen 
and avoided, as the bottom is composed of fine 
white sand. In the passage between Turk's-head 
Reef, and Horsburg Island, there is a channel wide 
enough to admit a ship of moderate draught, but 
it is rendered dangerous by the number of strag- 
gling rocks, and a strong current setting n. n. w. 
at the rate of a mile and a half an hour. 

The average elevation of these islands at high 
Water is not more than two feet, but they are easily 
discernible from the deck of an East Indiaman at a 
distance of six leagues, in consequence of the num- 
ber of cocoa-nut trees, which sometimes reach the 
height of seventy or eighty feet. The rise of tide 
in the bay is about four feet and a half, and it is 
high water at full and change of the moon, at half 
past four, P. m. These islands are entirely of coral 
formation, and would seem to arise from the summit 
of a submarine volcano, the basin having in a great 
degree, the appearance of a crater. A wall of 
coral surrounds the group, except at the entrances 
already described ; the surf constantly breaks over 


this wall with ceaseless fury, so that a landing is 
effectually prevented, save through the bay of 
Direction Island. No bottom can be found out-, 
side the breakers, while inside the bay the average 
depth is 5£ fathoms. In the southern part of this 
bay the coral has risen to such a height as to leave 
some portions of it quite dry at low water. 

Large quantities of pumice-stone have been found 
oq all the islands. This, it is probable, may have 
been washed hither from the volcanoes in the 
Java sea, as seeds and plants from Sumatra and 
Java have been driven up by the surf on the wind- 
ward side of the islands. Among them have 
been found the Kimiri, native of Sumatra and 
the peninsula of Malacca; the Cocoa-nut of Balci, 
known by its shape and size ; the Dadass, which is 
planted by the Malays with the pepper vine, the 
latter entwining round its trunk, and supporting 
itself by the prickles on its stem ; the soap tree ; 
the castor-oil plant ; trunks of the sago palm ; and 
various kinds of seeds unknown to the Malays who 
settled on the islands. These are all supposed to 
have been driven on shore by the n. w. monsoon 
to the coast of New Holland, and thence to these 
Islands by the s. e. trade wind. Large masses of 
Java teak, and yellow wood, have also been found, 
besides immense trees, of red and white cedar, and 
the blue gum-wood of New Holland, in a perfectly 
sound condition. All the hardy seeds, such as 
creepers, retain their germinating power, but the 


softer kinds, among which is the mangostin, are 
destroyed in the passage. Fishing canoes, appa- 
rently from Java, have at times been washed 
ashore, and in 1826-7 the Sir Francis Nicholas, 
Burton, a large brig, from London to Calcutta, was 
totally wrecked on the s. w. point of Hare Island, 
and part of the crew drowned. They were some 
degrees out in their longitude, and the night on 
which the wreck took place was dark and stormy. 

Turtle may be procured in great quantities; 
they come up with the rising tide to the southern 
side of the bay, to feed on the turtle-grass that 
covers the shallows ; and return with the tide to 
the deep pits in the coral reefs which they make 
their abodes. These pits vary in size, from ten 
yards to half a mile across, but the depth is similar 
to that of the anchorage. Their sides are quite 
precipitous, but in a few years the coral will, no 
doubt, fill them up to high water mark. 

Fish may also be taken, either by hook or net, 
in great quantities. Misery, and Goat Islands, are 
the best places for hauling the seine, and the fish 
caught there cure well. From 1700 to 1800 have 
been taken at one haul. Among the rest is an 
immense dark green fish with a large head, and a 
profile like that of an ox. Some of them have 
been taken two-hundred weight each ; there are 
also the barracouta, the garoupa, the snapper, rock 
cod, and other rock fish, that devour the shell-fish, 
and . feed at low water on the tender shoots of the 


young coral. Sharks are numerous, but known 
to be perfectly harmless, which is accounted for by 
the number of smaller fish that yield them a 
constant supply of food, and deprive them of the 
necessity of indulging in their ravenous propensities. 
The devil-fish, or sea-devil, a gigantic species of 
ray, is a much more formidable antagonist, and 
renders bathing exceedingly dangerous, unless 
near the shore. They are seen playing about in 
shoals for two or three days together. Flying-fish 
are very numerous outside the islands, but never 
venture into shoal water. There are numberless 
other species, many of which have never been 
mentioned in any work on Ichthyology; they are 
seen in greater numbers, when the wind is easterly, 
than when it is southerly. Shell-fish are also 
exceedingly plentiful ; the Chama Gigax has been 
taken three feet across the shell ; large cray-fish 
are to be had in the months of January and August, 
but not at any other period ; sea-crabs, of various 
sizes, may be met with ; some of them, however, 
are not fit for food, the blue crab especially, which 
grows to an enormous size, being poisonous, the 
only thing about, or on the islands that is so. 

Land-crabs are very numerous ; they make their 
habitations near the roots of decayed trees, where 
they are taken, by carrying a torch at night ; they 
are also captured soon after dark, when they crawl 
down to the salt water, and remain, washing or 
drinking, for about a quarter of an hour. Their prin- 

SB A FOWL. 381 

cipal food is the cocoa-nuts that fall from the trees. 
Under their tail is a large bag of yellow fat, which 
is dissolved by a slight heat into a pure animal oil ; 
this is their support in the month of July, when they 
retire to their holes to cast their shells. On their 
re-appearance they look wretchedly lean, the pro- 
vision bag being quite empty.* The hermit-crabs 
infest the islands in such swarms, that they are 
quite a nuisance. 

Immense numbers of marine and other birds 
frequent the Cocoas; some of them will allow 
themselves to be approached, «and even contest the 
spot which they happen to occupy. Gannetsf and 
loobies are to be seen in great numbers ; they in- 
variably leave the islands in the morning; and, 
having proceeded a great way to windward, return 
in the evening, scarcely able to fly, in consequence 
of the quantity of flying-fish and squids which they 
have swallowed in their course. They have been 
found as far as seventy miles to windward, but 
never to leeward, except perhaps a solitary bird. 
Ships may, consequently, take the appearance of 
these birds as a sure guide for the position of the 
islands. About an hour before sunset, the frigate 

* This is somewhat similar, in the use to which it is converted, 
to the hump of the Camel, by which the animal is sustained in the 
absence of its ordinary food. 

f One species of the Gannet builds its nest in the bush ; while 
the other, a larger, whiter, and handsomer bird, makes a hole in the 
sand for its abode. 


bird is observed floating steadily in the air at a 
great height, ready to pounce upon these birds as 
they return ; he pursues and striking them on the 
head and back with his hard crooked bill, causes 
them to disgorge the contents of their stomach, 
which he darts after and catches as they fall. 
Pigeons and Java sparrows are found here that 
have flown away from ships in the bay. Most of 
the domestic fowl have also left the Settlement, 
and become wild in the jungle. Ducks and fowls 
thrive well here in the domestic state, A bird of 
the Rail kind, called Ralus Crex, lays only two 
eggs, whereas all other species of crakes lay about 
twelve or fourteen. Red, blue, and white cranes 
are very numerous. Snipes and sand pipers are 
very few and shy. 

Pigs do well and multiply fast ; some have run 
wild on Hare Island, and are now grown large and 
formidable. The house-lizard and sand-flies are 
very numerous; but musquitoes are seldom met 
with. There are two species of water-snakes, which 
are generally from four to five feet long, and from 
six to nine inches in circumference. The colour 
of one is silver grey, and of the other, which is the 
larger one, a reddish grey. They live on the small 
crabs, which abound especially on the beach. Their 
bite is very severe, and they are consequently much 
dreaded in shallow water among the coral reefs. 

Almost all the islands are crowded. with cocoa- 
nut trees, around which an impervious jungle has, 


in many places, been produced by the nuts that have 
fallen. This is of serious injury to the old trees, 
by depriving their roots of the necessary sun and 
air, whereas the young trees that spring up, choak 
each other by their proximity, and are seldom pro- 
ductive. On the inside of the bay, a tree is found, 
close to the salt water, which runs like a creeper, 
and twines itself into the most fantastic shapes, 
seeming at times like an immense snake. It was 
called iron- wood from its exceeding hardness. There 
is a tree resembling the Protea species ; its wood 
is very soft, with a fleshy silver leaf. Another, that 
is somewhat similar to the Norway Pine, grows 
about thirty feet in height, and has a leaf shaped 
like a heart. There is a small tree precisely like 
the box in appearance, that will only grow near the 
sea. The Pandanus is common, and reaches an 
immense height. The natives of Java make their 
sleeping mats from this tree ; and hats have also 
been made from it, that are considered superior to 
those formed from the cocoa-nut leaf. Pumpkins, 
turnips, Indian corn, and tobacco have been suc- 
cessfully introduced and cultivated in these islands. 
Sugar canes and plantains were rather sickly, and 
the greatest care is requisite in preserving every 
thing that is planted, in consequence of the num- 
bers of locusts which devour all before them. 

Water is obtained by digging pits to the level of 
the sea ; if they be dug deeper, the water becomes 
brackish. It ebbs and flows with the sea, leaving 


in most of the pits only a few inches of fresh water. 
During the summer months, from November to 
April, while the n.w. monsoon blows in the Java 
sea, there is but little rain ; in the other six months, 
however, it falls both constantly and heavily. About 
a quarter of a mile from the north point of Hare 
Island, two large wells have been sunk in the rock 
near the beach. In Horsburg Island water may be 
procured, but landing there is attended with con- 
siderable danger ; and boating in any part of the 
bay is dangerous after dark. There is a good 
sized well in Albion Island, but the best is at New 
Selma, or Scott Island, the residence of Captain Ross. 
The climate of the Cocoas is remarkably healthy ; 
the general range of the thermometer during the 
twenty-four hours is only 10 degrees, from 78° to 
88°. It sometimes rises to 90°, but the heat is 
greatly moderated by the constant breeze. 

An island, called the North Keeling, liesaboutfour- 
teen miles to the northward of the Cocoa group. It 
is very low, and at high water the tide flows over its 
centre, so as to give it the appearance of a basin, 
surrounded by a narrow slip of land, save at a small 
gap, on the n.e. side. Like the Cocoas, it is of coral 
formation, and abounds with cocoa trees. It is only 
visited by sea birds and turtle. The surf breaks so 
completely round it, that a landing is effectually 
prevented, except at the x.w. point; and even there 
it is a matter of great difficulty. The channel be- 
tween it and the Cocoas is considered safe, being 


mostly unfathomable, though patches of coral are 
said to have been seen about midway. 

From another very interesting account of the 
Cocoas, with which I have been favoured by my 
friend Captain Mangles, R.N., the following addi- 
tional particulars are extracted. 

" The soil of these islands is formed entirely by 
the detrition of coral. On the sea front, you may 
walk out, at low water, to the edge of the reef, by 
which they are nearly encircled, and look down 
out of soundings, so perseveringly have the insect 
architects performed their labours towards the light, 
and raised their little dwellings one above another. 
Labouring incessantly in the construction of their 
cells, they often unwittingly insure their own ruin, 
for no sooner have they raised their works above 
high water-mark, than the structures they intended 
for their dwellings become their tombs. 

" All the islands, save in two instances, are con- 
nected by causeways, which may be forded at low 
water. Of the two exceptions ; one is the entrance 
to the harbour, which is narrow and intricate; 
but after a vessel is once in, the water is as smooth 
as a mill-pond, and she is well sheltered from all 
the prevailing winds; so that when we dropped 
our anchor in this lovely haven, I was immediately 
reminded of the passage in the * Tempest' — 

Safely in harbour 
Is the King's ship — in the deep nook she's hid. 

" Nearly the whole of the islands are covered with 
4 2c 


cocoa-nut trees, which are so matted together 
with the jungle and young trees, as to be al- 
most impenetrable, and the fruit is scattered over 
the ground in prodigious quantities. One tree 
has been known to yield upwards of a hundred 
nuts in a season. These islands, being clothed 
with verdure to their summits, diversify and enrich, 
not only the beauty of the fore-ground, but also 
the outline of the landscape. The climate is deli- 
cious ; the atmosphere clear in the extreme ; and 
the sky of so exquisite a blue, that it would lend 
reality to one of Albano's most vivid pictures, or 
fully merit the description in Don Juan : 

" Oh darkly ! deeply ! beautifully blue, 
As some one, somewhere, sings about the sky." 

And then the graceful waving of the elegant palm; 
the snow-white beach, which is beautifully con- 
trasted with the verdant back-ground the trees 
afford ; the foaming of the breakers, which curl up 
in terrific grandeur between the islands, as if they 
envied the repose of the retired nook, or the quiet 
sheltered bay, where the bleached sand is studded 
with beautiful shells, — 

" And all was stillness, save the sea-birds' cry, 
Add dolphins' leap, and little billow crossed 
By some low rock, or shelve, that made it fret 
Against the boundary it scarcely wet." 

Nor does the sea fail to contribute to the beauty of 
the scene ; of a transparent emerald green, without 


a shade of turbid water, its waves pure and limpid, 
both within and without the basin — it is occasion* 
ally diversified with every tint of blue and green, 
blended, at times, with white and yellow, so as to 
form a rare combination of variety and beauty. In 
the absence of cliffs, the sea birds contrive, not- 
withstanding their web feet, to perch upon the 
trees, in the branches of which they may be seen, 
at sunset, roosting by thousands. One beautiful 
species, with black head, red bill and feet, and 
snow-white wings, which are long and shaped like 
those of the swallow, lays its eggs in a concavity of 
the palm leaf, and actually hatches them in this 
position, in spite of the awkward undulation, occa- 
sioned by the winds ; forcibly reminding me that 
* necessity is indeed the mother of invention.' 

" Turtle, that come to feed on the long grass which 
grows in the shallow parts of the haven, are caught 
by the persevering chase of one individual, detached 
from a small flat raft, on which are three men, 
furnished with long poles : care is taken to keep in 
sight the first object of pursuit, and not to be led 
away by the appearance of others in his track ; the 
unwieldy animal darts off at first with consider- 
able rapidity, but is soon wearied, and, breathless 
by this unusual exertion, becomes an easy prey 
to his pursuer. 

" The settlers, who have located on these islands 
with Mr. Hare, reside in huts, which they have 
built with the branches of the palm, each indi- 


vidual having taken possession of as much freehold 
property as he pleased. They have each their re- 
spective farms, with the requisite poultry-yards, 
hen-houses, piggeries and gardens. We took away 
with us twenty dozen of ducks and fowls, without 
making any sensible diminution in their stock, the 
proprietors gladly accepting in exchange, biscuits, 
rice, and spirits. It appears that one shock of an 
earthquake has been felt by the present inhabi- 
tants, though it was, fortunately, neither long nor 
violent. " 

During the first fortnight after our departure 
from the Straits of Sunda, the wind continued, most 
obstinately, between the south and west points of 
the compass, which was, unhappily, the direction 
in which we wished to proceed. In this tedious 
period, the only variety we had was the difference 
in the strength of the breeze, and occasional calms. 
On the occurrence of the latter, we indulged in 
most sanguine hopes of a favourable change, a 
calm being invariably regarded by sailors as the 
precursor of a fair wind. This agreeable delusion 
was greatly increased by sundry appearances and 
signs in the sea, sky, and atmosphere, which served 
to cheer our spirits for the moment, though they 
were often damped again, as our hopes were dis- 
appointed by the return of the breeze to the old 
quarter. My fellow-passengers consisted of two 
invalids from India, who were unable, as may be 
presumed, to contribute much to my amusement or 


gratification. I was, however, occasionally favoured 
with a little reading. When we met at table there 
was no lack of conversation, all of us having 
visited, in our time, various portions of the world ; 
Captain Parkyns had served on the same station as 
myself for several years, and was consequently 
acquainted with many of my old friends and ship- 
mates ; so that, between long yarns and old Indian 
stories, we were never dull at meal-times, the 
assembling at which, is generally looked forward to 
with anxiety in a long sea-voyage, as being the 
most interesting portion of the day. 

Tuesday, January 25. — This morning the wind 
drew gradually round from s. tos.E., occasioning no 
small rejoicing among us, convinced as we were, 
from the degree of latitude we had attained — nearly 
20° s. — that we had at last got hold of the regular 
trade-wind, which is usually met with between the 
12th and 15th degrees of south latitude. 

Had Captain Parkyns engaged to take, as passen- 
gers, Sir James and Lady Home, to Swan River, it 
would have considerably increased the length of 
our voyage to Van Diemen's Land. We must have 
gone nearly as far to the southward and westward 
before we could get a wind, to enable us to run for 
the former, as it was necessary to do to get to the 
latter; and, in returning from Swan River, we 
should have been obliged to have taken the same 
circuitous route, as the quickest method of reaching 
Van Diemen's Land. Though I was desirous of visit- 


ing Swan River, my curiosity was not sufficiently 
strong to induce me to go much out of my way, 
being rather damped by the various accounts I had 
met with since the establishment of the Colony. 
British industry, aided by a large supply of capital, 
may produce a favourable effect, still there are some 
natural obstacles which it would seem to be a mat- 
ter of great difficulty to overcome. I have been 
informed by several experienced seamen, that Swan 
Port is never likely to be safe for shipping. Cock- 
burn Sound is an excellent anchorage, if you can 
only get there. The best passage that has yet been 
found into it is very intricate, and at the season 
when the strong westerly winds prevail, it is ex- 
ceedingly dangerous to approach the coast. To 
form a fetir judgment, however, of the actual capa- 
bility of this Colony, the readiest mode, perhaps, 
would be to take into consideration the respective 
opinions of those who entertain opposite views on 
the subject ; as some persons affect to consider it a 
paradise, whilst others are inclined to describe it as 
a mere sandy desert. 

I will here lay before the reader a description of 
the settlement, which was given me by a friend, 
who has recently paid it a visit ; and who, not 
being interested either way, may be accepted as 
an impartial commentator. 

" The appearance of the whole country is that of 
a continued forest : the trees, * however, being so 
dispersed that you may ride on horseback in every 


direction. The larger trees are not remarkable for 
beauty; they are mostly of the genus Euca- 
lyptus, under which denomination the mahogany, 
and the red and blue gums are included. But the 
smaller trees, being principally Banksias, of which 
there are five varieties, are covered with blossoms 
of the most exquisite beauty. The flowering shrubs 
and plants are to be met with in all directions, and 
surpass, in richness of colouring and gracefulness 
of form, those of any other country I have ever 
visited. In the months of September and October, 
the surface of the ground is closely studded with 
flowers of numberless hues and tints, which almost 
persuade the spectator that he is walking through 
a cultivated garden. While the sense of seeing, 
however, is thus highly delighted, that of smell 
receives but little gratification, the flowers of this 
country, with only one or two exceptions, being en- 
tirely devoid of scent. 

"The Swan River, as it is called, is, more properly 
speaking, an estuary ; being salt, and quiescent at 
its very commencement : the bed of the river is 
filled with fresh water in the rainy season only, 
when the draining of the waters from the surround- 
ing country brings down the freshes. The fresh 
water is no sooner discharged than the sea enters 
again, and usurps its place, as there is no source 
or spring to keep up the supply, and maintain a 
running stream, as is the case in all rivers. The 
level of the sea, at Gordon Island, and at the head 


of the Swan River, is the same, though a distance 
of thirty-four miles intervenes between them, 
which may be stated as follows : — 


From Cockburn Sound to Freemantle, 10 

Freemantle to Perth, - 10 

Perth to Guildford, - - 10 

Guildford to the Head of the Swan 

River, .... 4 

" There is no tide, but the level at Perth occasion- 
ally fluctuates, as the sea or land breeze prevails. 
Sharks and salt water fish are found at the very 
head of the stream. The tortuous windings of the 
estuary render it similar in appearance to a river, 
but the saltness of the water prevents that exu- 
berant vegetation which graces, in general, the 
margin of fresh water rivers ; in its place, however, 
are to be found trees, which, by feathering into the 
water, greatly increase the beauty of the scenery. 
Birds here are very numerous ; there are two 
beautiful varieties of the black cockatoo, one with 
a red and the other with a white band across the 
tail, which are seldom, if ever, seen in Europe." 

In lat. 24°£ s. when the temperature of the sea 
was 74°. F. and that of the air 76°. the coldness of 
the weather was a source of considerable annoyance 
to the Lascars and monkeys. 

Tuesday, February 8. — Lat. 36°. s. and long, 
about 100°. e. The wind having sprung up from 


the northward and eastward ; we were enabled to 
direct our course to the place of our destination. 
From this day till the 26th, there was not any oc- 
currence which deserved to be recorded ; except 
that nearly the whole of the time we had strong 
blowing weather, the wind prevailing between n. w. 
and s. w. 

Sunday, 27. — In the middle of the night we 
anchored near the entrance of the Derwent ; and, 
about noon, when the sea-breeze set in, we pro- 
ceeded up the river, and arrived off Hobart Town 
at a quarter past two. The distance of Hobart 
Town from the sea, is about twelve miles, either 
by land or water. The navigation of the Derwent is 
perhaps, as easy, and void of danger, as that of any 
river in the world ; and I found a greater number of 
vessels at this port than could well have been ex- 
pected, at one of the two trading ports of so young 
a Colony. There were three ships, two brigs, and 
a number of smaller vessels. We were visited by 
the Harbour-Master, Lieutenant Hill, R. N. and 
several strangers. My two fellow-passengers dis- 
embarked, to take up their quarters on shore, but, 
as I always like to gain as much local information 
as possible, before taking such a step, I resolved 
upon remaining quiet until the following day. 


Author disembarks at Hobart Town — Female Factory and Orphan 
School — " Solomon's Temple" — Convict Labour — Macquarie 
Harbour — Risden Farm — Recollections of the early Settlers*- 
Natives and Europeans — Visit the Jail — First Races at Hobart 
Town— New Wharf— The Battery — Epidemic and its causes — 
Leave Hobart Town for the Interior— Saltpan Plains, the residence 
of Mr. Kermode— Ross Bridge— Campbell Town — Wanstead 
Park — Captain Wood's Farm — South Esk Ferry — Launceston — 
Mymosa Bark— Public Jail — Visit to George Town — Anecdote 
of Native Ferocity — Mr. Walsh, Port Captain— Cataract of the 
South Eak — Supply of Water —Mr. Lawrence — Departure from 
Launceston — Van Diemen's Land Horse -Company's Establish- 
ment — Pensanger — Improvident Speculations — A Yorkshire 
Farmer — Mona Vale — Return to Hobart Town — Author Em- 
barks for Sydney. 

Tuesday, March 1. — Captain Parkyns came on 
board to-day, accompanied by my old naval friend 
Mr. Hamilton. We soon raked up our recollections 
of the last five-and-twenty years, and followed up 
our reminiscences with such pertinacity, that we did 
not leave any one else an opportunity of throwing 
in a word. There is something delightfully ex- 
hilarating in the renewal of old friendships, arising, 
no doubt, in some degree, from the temporary 
delusion of the enjoyment of that youth which the 
retrospective view of past scenes presents to the 
imagination. It is siugular enough that I brought 


a letter of introduction to this my old friend from a 
gentleman in China, having no idea at the time, of 
the previous acquaintance which had existed 
between us ; this is the second occasion, however, in 
which such a circumstance has occurred to me, in 
the course of my travels. 

I went on shore in the afternoon, and engaged a 
servant and apartments at the Macquarie hotel ;* 
having taken my leave of the Merope, and my 
esteemed friend Captain Parkyns, to whom I beg 
here to express the great obligations I owe, for his 
courtesy aud kindness. 

Wednesday , 2. — I accompanied a lady this 
morning to visit the Female Factory, about two 
miles from Hobart Town. It is intended for the 
reception of such female " prisoners" as are not 
disposed of immediately on their arrival from 
England, as well as those who are returned from 
the service in which they had been placed, either in 
consequence of sickness or refractory conduct. In 
speaking of them, the word prisoner is invariably 
substituted for convict by all classes, both in New 
South Wales and Van Diemen's Land ; the latter 
term being considered by them so exceedingly 
opprobrious, that its application is highly offensive, 
and never forgiven. 

The Factory is capable of accommodating 300 
women, and 60 children. All the women have their 

* This hotel was kept by a respectable settler and his wife, who 
had failed in the fanning business. 

396 THE prisoners' barracks. 

respective services to perform, and they are distin- 
guished into three classes, the worst of whom are em- 
ployed in picking wool, washing, and the drudgery of 
the establishment; the next in spinning ; and the first 
class in ironing, making clothes for the household, 
and shirts for the male prisoners. At the time of 
my visit there were 220 women, and 62 children, 
many of whom were ready to be assigned, had there 
been a demand for them. The children are not 
permitted to remain with their mothers after they 
are weaned, but are placed under the care of nurses. 
When four years old they are sent to the Orphan 
School, at which they remain until they are ap- 
prenticed ; but as there happened to be no vacancies 
in the school at that time, the two supernumerary 
children were obliged to wait for admission. They 
are instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic ; 
and the elder girls, in addition to needle-work, are 
employed in various domestic offices, to enable 
them to perform the duty of servants. 

One day I visited the Barracks for the male pri- 
soners. It is a large building, with accommoda- 
tions for 800 persons, though there were at that 
time but half the number lodged within its walls. 
These were employed in carrying on the Govern- 
ment works in the town, some of them being en- 
gaged in extending their own building, the upper 
part of which was intended for a chapel, and the 
lower as a place of confinement for the refractory 
prisoners. There were also cells for solitary con- 


finement, which was to be substituted for corporal 
punishment. There was a treadmill, which was 
first put into action on the 16th of February, 1828. 
Thirty-six persons, for minor offences, were occu- 
pied at it for different periods. The wheel was 
composed of thirty steps, and made its revolution 
in half a minute, being a second for every step. 
Eighteen men stood on the wheel at a time, and at 
each revolution a man came off, while another got 
on at the opposite end, so that each man was nine 
minutes on, and nine minutes off. When this mill 
was kept in full activity, it ground much more than 
was required for the consumption of the establish- 
ment. The prisoners were under the superin- 
tendence of Lieutenant Gunn, who had lost an arm 
through a musket-shot from Brady, the celebrated 
leader of a party of bush-rangers. 

Saturday, 5. — The weather, which had hitherto 
been very warm, with the thermometer at 80°, 
became to-day exceedingly bleak and cold, the 
thermometer being as low as 55°, and the wind 
blowing from the southward. This wind is similar 
in its effects to an easterly wind in England. In a 
few days it changed to the n.w., and the weather 
became proportionably mild. 

There are several respectable hotels in Hobart 
Town, but the Macquarie is said to be the best, or 
perhaps, I should say, the most fashionable. It is 
situated in the street of the same name, which is the 
widest and kept in the best order of any in the town. 

398 " Solomon's temple. 

This street is a mile in length, but the line of houses 
does not extend more than half that distance, 
beyond which it is merely a road, with, occasionally, 
detached houses at short intervals. The greatest 
extent of this road is not more than two miles from 
the town, as it does not lead to any of the settled 
parts of the interior. Many of the public buildings 
are situated in Macquarie Street, among which are 
the church, Government house, jail, and guard- 
room. Some of the best private dwellings are also to 
be found here. The largest private house in the town, 
however, is one at the bottom of Liverpool Street, 
at but a short remove from the water-side ; it was 
sarcastically termed "Solomon's Temple/' in conse- 
quence of its having belonged to two brothers of the 
Jewish persuasion (Judah and Joseph Solomon), 
who were prisoners under a ticket of leave. It was 
a large brick building of only one story, but cover- 
ing a great extent of ground ; the upper apart- 
ments were let out as lodgings, the lower portion 
being occupied as a shop and store-rooms. It is said 
to have been raised on a "rum foundation,' 9 as its 
owners amassed the greater part of their money by 
smuggling rum from the ships ; and as they pur- 
chased it at five shillings a gallon, and sold it to the 
prisoners at a guinea a bottle, their ready acquisi- 
tion of wealth is easily accounted for. 

Macquarie Harbour is the station to which the 
worst description of prisoners are consigned, as the 
only chance of escape is by an overland journey, 


so rugged and difficult, that few who have made 
the attempt have ever succeeded in effecting it. A 
party once set out together, and in their futile 
attempt to reach the settled parts of the island, 
only one survived to describe the miseries which 
they endured, and the horrid expedients to which 
they resorted to sustain their existence. In such 
dread is the servitude at Macquarie Harbour held 
by the prisoners who are banished thither from the 
settled parts of the island, that they not unfre- 
quently murder their companions, for the desperate 
and gloomy satisfaction of returning to the capital, 
where they can pass a little time previous to their 
trial, and the ignominious death which they know 
awaits them. Their employment principally consists 
in felling timber, building vessels, and loading them 
with the timber they have cut. Some of these vessels 
are employed in conveying troops, prisoners, and 
provisions between that, or other stations, and 
Hobart Town. There was at this time a vessel of 
300 tons, building here for some merchants, by way 
of experiment, for the whale fishery. The only 
free persons on the spot were the troops, and a few 
officers in charge of the stores and medical depart- 
ment, and there was not a single female in any 
way associated with the prisoners. The second 
class of prisoners under Colonial sentence, or trou- 
blesome characters just arrived from England, are 
despatched to Maria Island, near the coast, in the 
direction of Bass's Straits, where they are chiefly 


employed in weaving coarse cloth, the yarn for 
which is sent from the Female Factory, to which 
place the cloth is returned to be made up for the 
unassigned male prisoners. It seems to me that if 
coarse cloth were obtained from England, and these 
prisoners employed in making roads, or other 
public works, it would be converting their labour 
to more useful purposes. A small number of them 
had been sent to Port Arthur, formerly called 
Stewart's Harbour, a short time previous to my 
arrival, and were employed there in cutting timber, 
and sawing it into planks. 

There is a dangerous bar at the entrance to 
Macquarie Harbour, which causes the sea to break 
so heavily that it frequently sweeps the decks of 
vessels in passing it. I was informed by a pilot of 
the Derwcnt, who had been some time at the former 
place, that he was often obliged to have the man at 
the helm secured by ropes, while he and the crew 
ascended the rigging until they passed tfre bar, 
when the water became immediately smooth, and 
the anchorage very good. 

Tuesday, 8. — I had the honour of dining to-day 
with his Excellency, the Lieutenant-Governor, 
who entertained a mixed party of official persons, 
visitors to the Island, and settlers ; among the 
latter was Major Grey, the well known African 

Wednesday ', 9. — I left Hobart Town this morning, 
in company with Mr. Greigson, for hi9 residence 


at Risden.* We proceeded in his boat, from the 
Government Gardens, to the opposite side of the 
Derwent, and landed in a small bay at Lynd- 
hurst Farm, from whence we walked about three 
miles and a half before we reached his abode at 
Risden Farm, which is rented by Mr. Greigson 
from the agent of Col. Geils. The dwelling-house 
stands about 200 yards from a tide creek that 
branches off from the Derwent, which river is about 
a quarter of a mile from the farm : at high water, 
small boats can come up abreast of the house. I 
am induced to be thus particular in my description 
of this place, as the first act of hostility, between the 
natives and a party of soldiers, who were encamped 
here in 1803, for the purpose of taking possession 
of the island, occurred on this spot. It is said to 
have originated in the following manner. A small 
stone-house had been erected for a gardener, and 
he was gpmmencing the cultivation of the ground 
immediately around it. In the midst of his work 
one day, he was surprised by the appearance of 
some natives advancing towards him, and ran off 
much frightened to the camp to give the alarm. 
Lieut. Moore, who commanded a party of the 
102nd, drew up his men to resist the expected 
attack ; and on the approach of the natives, the 
soldiers were ordered to fire upon them. The exe- 

* A corruption from Restdown, its original name, so called from 
it having been the first place in which a tent was pitched on taking 
possession of the colony. 

4 2d 


cution which this volley did among them, and their 
ignorance of the nature of fire-arms, terrified them 
to such a degree, that they fled, without attempting 
the slightest defence. From this moment a deep- 
rooted hatred for the strangers sprang up among 
them, and all endeavours to subdue it have hitherto 
proved ineffectual. Revenge is one of the strongest 
passions in the breast of a savage, and he will seek 
its gratification, with a perseverance and determina- 
tion which nothing can eradicate. 

Lieut. Moore, with his party of the 102nd, and a 
few convict prisoners, landed at Risden on the 3rd of 
June, 1803, from the brig Lady Nelson, commanded 
by Lieut. Bowen, R.N., having left Port Jackson 
expressly for the purpose of taking possession, and 
holding a temporary command of the island, lest 
the French should anticipate us in that object. 
On the 16th of February, 1804, Colonel Collins 
arrived in H. M. S. Ocean, and took fomal pos- 
session of the Colony, having found the small 
party that preceded him in a wretched state, from 
want of provisions. He established his head-quar- 
ters on the spot where Hobart Town has since been 

The above-mentioned breach with the natives 
has been followed by frequent provocations, which 
fully justify that hostile feeling they entertain 
towards their European invaders. The cruelties, 
to which they have been subjected, have been 
chiefly inflicted, however, by the bush-rangers, and 


convict-servants in charge of sheep and cattle at 
the out-stations ; and who, being provided with fire- 
arms which rendered the resistance of the natives 
unavailing, were frequently guilty of the forcible 
abduction of the native women. To effect their 
object, the additional crime of murder was not of rare 
occurrence. As the weapons of the natives, made 
from the trees of the woods they inhabit, were of little 
use in comparison with the deadly weapons of their 
aggressors, they were naturally obliged to resort for 
their defence to the aid of stratagem and artifice. 
In treacherous conduct, however, it must be admit- 
ted, the bush-rangers were far surpassed by the con- 
vict-servants, who, among other cruelties, have been 
known to practise the following murderous trick 
upon the natives, when they have confidingly mixed 
with our people in the out-stations. They have 
produced a brace of pistols, one of which was 
loaded, and the other not; then taking the un- 
loaded one, would apply it to their ear, and after 
pulling the trigger, would laugh most heartily, as 
if the act were attended with peculiar gratification. 
A simple native would be thus induced to make a 
similar experiment with the loaded pistol, the 
natural consequence of which was, that he would 
blow out his own brains ! 

The Island of Van Diemen's Land, or Tasmania, 
has been in our possession for a period of twenty- 
seven years, and yet there is but one British resi- 
dent, who is enabled to hold communion with the 


natives. The person thus distinguished is Mr. 
Robinson, who, having acquired their language, 
and gone amongst them for the purpose of effect- 
ing a reconciliation, has done much more, in my 
opinion, towards the suppression of their hostile 
feelings, than the introduction of penal measures 
could ever have accomplished. 

The natives of Van Diemen s Land are supposed, 
in consequence of the great personal resemblance 
which they bear to the people of New Guinea, to 
have originally found their way hither from that 
island. They have flat noses, thick lips, hair exceed- 
ingly woolly, with other characteristics of the African 
race ; and are generally agreed to be much inferior, 
in the scale of human beings, to the aborigines of 
New Holland, who, from their similarity of features 
and long black hair, are undoubtedly of Malay 
origin. Some persons have asserted that they are 
the lowest grade of the human race, being but 
little superior to the brute creation ; however this 
may be, it is certain they are not cannibals, like the 
more civilized, and intelligent natives of New Zea- 
land : they respect the remains of their deceased 
companions, either by burial, or by carefully de- 
positing them in hollow trees ; if they cannot find 
one which decay has fitted for their purpose, they, 
by the use of fire, procure a cavity sufficiently 
large for the occasion. Another instance of humane 
consideration among them is, that in the gratifica- 
tion of revenge for any injury they have received, 


they generally spare the children of those whom 
they have destined to be their victims. They seem 
to have but little fear of death ; and, from the 
observations which have been made upon them 
when confined in our prisons, it is supposed they 
would even prefer death, to a continuance under 
restraint. Bleeding by scarification is a mode of 
treatment in general use among them, in cases of 
sickness. Migration from one part of the island to 
another is usual with the respective tribes, accord- 
ing to the season of the year ; the attainment of food 
appearing to be their principal object in the change 
of place. At one period they repair to the coast, 
and trust for their subsistence to their expertness 
in spearing the finny tribe, together with the 
supply of shell-fish which they procure from the 
rocks and beach ; while at another time they seek 
their support among the wild animals of the forest. 
One of their modes of hunting the Kangaroo, is 
generally as successful as it is ingenious. Having 
discovered a spot to which they know a number of 
these animals resort, they make a fire round it, 
taking care to leave two or three openings by which 
they may endeavour to escape ; they then station 
themselves at these places, and on the animals at- 
tempting to pass, they spear them with such dex- 
terity, that few are ever permitted to escape. They 
use similar means when any of these animals are 
found on a small hill, by making a fire round its 
base. This practice, however, is rather neglected 


of late, since they have become acquainted with the 
use of dogs, which they have procured from the 
settlers, and which they invariably treat with great 
kindness, from a consciousness of their value. 

Thursday, March 10.— Colonel Logan left Hobart 
Town to-day, with a detachment of the 63rd regi- 
ment, to scour the country about New Norfolk, 
twenty-two miles distant from the capital, as some 
depredations had been committed lately, either by 
the bush-rangers, or the aborigines. I dined with 
my friend Major Fairtclough, at the 63rd mess, 
where there was but a small party, as many of the 
officers had accompanied the Colonel. We left the 
mess early, to spend the remainder of the evening at 
Mr. Bohan's, surgeon of the regiment, whose lady 
had accompanied him in the circumnavigation of 
the globe, and travelled over many portions of the 
four quarters. 

Friday, 11. — This month corresponds with our 
September, and yet the hill behind Hobart Town, 
called Mount Wellington, is covered with snow. 
This, certainly, is not a proof of the mildness of 
the climate of this country ; and as far as my ex- 
perience goes, I think it exceedingly changeable. 
This morning was cold and cloudy, with frequent 
showers. Wind s.w. 

I dined to-day with Mr. Burnett, the Colonial 
Secretary ; there was a small party, among whom 
I had the pleasure of meeting my old friends, 
Major Douglas of the 63rd, and Mr. Hamilton, R.N. 


Monday y 14. — I accompanied Mr. Kermode in a 
visit to the jail to-day ; but I shall not attempt any 
description of its inmates, or their crimes, as I think 
the less familiar we are with the dark side of our 
nature the better. We were most politely received 
by Mr. Bisden, the governor of the jail, and his 
lady. This gentleman possesses an excellent farm, 
upon which are some of the finest sheep in the 
island, and his garden is the largest and most 
valuable in the neighbourhood of Hobart Town. I 
examined an apple, fourteen inches in circum- 
ference, gathered from a scion that had been but 
six months engrafted ; and Mrs. Bisden obligingly 
presented me with a most beautiful specimen of a 
petrified mushroom, eighteen inches in circum- 
ference; as well as a petrifaction of what is termed 
native bread, being a fungus that is dug out of the 

Thursday, 17. — The first public races that were 
ever got up at Hobart Town commenced to-day. 
They took place at New Town, about two miles 
from the capital. This proceeding did not at all 
meet with the sanction of the Governor, who pro- 
hibited the attendance of all prisoners, whether 
those who were lodged in the barracks, assigned 
servants, or such as had tickets of leave. There 
were public races, however, held at Launceston 
about a fortnight previous to those at Hobart 

Friday, 18. — It was my intention to have left 


town to-day, for the interior, with my friends, Mr. 
and Mrs, Kermode, but our departure was unfor- 
tunately deferred, in consequence of Mrs. K. having 
met with an accident on her way to the race- 
ground. I accompanied Mr. Kermode to examine 
some of the improvements which are going on in 
the town. We first directed our steps towards the 
new wharf, a work of no small magnitude and im- 
portance in a young colony, and one which is the 
source of much discussion and difference of opinion 
at the present moment. The imprudence of under- 
taking so gigantic a work, in the early state of the 
Colony, is loudly asserted by many of the settlers, 
who advocate the employment of money and labour 
in other measures of more immediate necessity. 
Assigned servants are required by them to erect 
buildings on their grants, or clear the grounds for 
cultivation ; the public road from Hobart Town to 
Launceston being in a condition that renders a 
communication between these towns anything but 
easy. The facility of communication, between the 
settled parts of a new colony, must be generally 
admitted to be an object of primary importance. 
The new wharf, it was urged, was not at present 
requisite, as there were several, at which the 
cargoes of ships could be landed by means of boats ; 
and one, in particular, might, at a trifling expense, 
have been extended to a sufficient depth of water, 
to permit vessels to come alongside. But many of 
the individuals, it seems, who were interested in, 


and had power to promote, the new undertakings 
possessed property in its immediate vicinity, the 
prospect of benefiting which, fully accounted, in 
the eyes of the opposite party, for their advocacy. 

From the new wharf we proceeded a little further, 
in the same direction, to the battery; which is 
erected on a point of land, well calculated for a fort, 
that would afford protection to the harbour. The 
" battery," however, consisted only of a few rusty 
guns, part of which were dismounted ; nor was there, 
as I was informed, any fort of sufficient strength to 
prevent an enemy's frigate going up the Derwent, 
and anchoring off Hobart Town ; where they might 
with impunity destroy the shipping, lay the town 
under contribution, or level it to the ground. 

There was a race-dinner at our hotel to-day ; and 
I met a friend there, from the Cape of Good Hope, 
who had been to Swan River for the purpose of 
disposing of some Cape produce ; but cash was so 
exceedingly scarce, and bills, in general, so little 
desirable, that he brought the greater portion of his 
stock hither, and was much more successful, Cape 
wine being greatly in requisition. 

Saturday r , 19. — The races concluded to-day, and 
went off in a much more orderly manner than had 
been anticipated. Their utility, in encouraging the 
improvement in the breed of horses in so young a 
colony, cannot be doubted ; but this is, in some 
measure, overbalanced by the opportunities for 
dissipation which it gives a community, already too 


much inclined in that direction. I allude, of 
course, to the convict branch of the population. 

Monday y 21. — There have been a great many 
cases of fever, of a typhoid character, during 
my stay in Hobart Town, though the instances in 
which it terminated fatally were fortunately few. 
It was not confined to any particular class, but 
seemed to attack all orders, without respect to per- 
sons. The causes assigned as the origin of this 
epidemic, are the extreme dryness of the season, 
which generated malaria; and the unwholesomeness 
of the water with which the town is supplied. 
Fresh water could only be procured from a creek 
that runs through the centre of the town, and 
which, among other pollutions in its course, re- 
ceived the drainings of the tan-pits ; this will suffi- 
ciently account for the evil effects which it pro- 
duced. An aqueduct, lined with brick, was, 
however, in progress at this time, and had ex- 
tended to the suburbs, near the barracks, in the 
vicinity of which a reservoir was in progress. 
The supply was to be obtained from a fine stream 
of water at the head of a valley, about a mile be- 
yond the town. As the tide in the Derwent con- 
tinues several miles above Hobart Town, a supply 
of fresh water could not of course be obtained from 
the river. 

Tuesday, 22. — I left Hobart Town this morning, 
with Mr. and Mrs. Kermode, and their young- 
est daughter, with the intention of proceeding 


with them, to their residence at the Saltpan 
Plains ; and thence to Launceston with Mr. 
Haskett, who accompanied us in his gig. A little 
more than nine miles from Hobart Town, on the 
New Norfolk road, we crossed the Derwent, on a 
raft, at Green Point Ferry, with the carriage and 
horses. There was a small inn on each bank of 
the river; at one of which we obtained some 
English porter, at the moderate price of half-a- 
crown a bottle. About three-quarters of a mile 
above this ferry, a bridge is building over the 
Derwent, the want of which, at the present moment, 
is a source of much inconvenience. Having con- 
tinued our course for six or seven miles, we crossed 
the bed of the Jordan, which is dry, except in 
winter, when there is a running stream. A very 
neat bridge has been recently built over this river, 
on the new line of road from the intended bridge 
over the Derwent. Twenty-three miles from 
Hobart Town we arrived at the Bagdad Inn, at 
which we stopped to refresh ourselves and horses, 
previous to our ascending Constitution Hill, which 
is noted as the scene of numberless robberies, com- 
mitted by the bush-rangers. It seems we are 
indebted to these gentlemen, for the Scriptural 
names that have been given to the various places 
in this neighbourhood. 

After dinner, we ascended the hill, and proceeded 
to Stiglitz's Inn at Green Ponds, twenty-nine miles 
from the capital, where we passed the night. The 


appearance of the country, from Hobart Town to 
this place, is generally undulating, with hills of 
very moderate elevation. There is but little culti- 
vation, the quantity of timber being excessive. The 
road, after crossing the Derwent, is exceedingly 
bad, but the scenery in the vicinity of Green Ponds 
and Cross Marsh is very picturesque, and the land 
valuable for grain. Several respectable settlers have 
established themselves here, and have, in general, 
good buildings on their farms. Many fine speci- 
mens of petrified wood have been found in the 
water courses of this part of the country, and also a 
variety of crystals. These are not confined, how- 
ever, to this neighbourhood, but are frequently 
met with in various parts of the island. There are 
also some large basaltic columns on different parts 
of the coast. 

Wednesday, 23. — We left Green Ponds at day- 
light, and proceeded about fourteen miles to Harri- 
son's Inn, at Jericho, where we breakfasted. The 
road was very sandy and heavy, until we had passed 
Lovely Banks, which lies half-way between Green 
Ponds and Jericho. After breakfast we continued 
our journey for the distance of seven miles, until 
we arrived at Oatlands, where we found an officer, 
and detachment of the 17th regiment. There was 
also a police magistrate, with a jail, and barracks 
for prisoners, of whom from fifty to a hundred were 
employed in repairing the roads, and other Govern- 
ment works. There are but few settlers in this 


neighbourhood, the best land having been princi- 
pally granted to the magistrate ; indeed, it is said, 
that this dismal place was made a township solely 
on account of the gentleman in question, who is a 
great favourite with the Governor. The road from 
Oatlands to Peter's Pass, about five miles, was 
excessively dreary, lying between high hills. But 
after we had proceeded a further distance of five 
miles, a delightful country opened upon us, and 
we soon entered the Saltpan Plains, which are the 
most extensive in the island. They lie exactly 
half-way between Hobart Town and Launceston. 
About sunset we reached the residence of Mr. 
Kermode, to which he has given the name of Mona 
Vale, in compliment to his wife, whose natal place 
is the Isle of Man. It is situated about two miles 
from the public road, and sixty-eight from Hobart 
Town. The house which he at. that time occupied 
was built of wood, but he has since erected a hand- 
some edifice of brick. In the immediate vicinity 
of his mansion is a beautiful lake, about a mile in 
length, and two hundred yards broad, with a depth 
of from thirty to forty feet water. A number of 
wild fowl make it a place of occasional resort, and 
several tame black swans considerably increase the 
beauty of its appearance. The plains are generally 
very level, the most elevated situation being that of 
a little hill near the lake, which was named after 
one of the first surveyors who visited that part of 
the island ; but I recommended the change of its 


designation to Mount Pleasant, on account of the 
agreeable nature of its situation . Mr. Kermode had a 
stock of 4000 sheep, and was engaged in the erection 
of a wall of loose stones, on the side of the hill next 
the lake, to serve for a sheepfold during the lambing 
season. It was formed like a horse shoe, opening 
towards the lake, so that they might have free 
access to the water. About half a mile from the 
lake, there is a swamp which covers 420 acres, and 
near its borders is a pit, twelve feet in depth, 
which is constantly supplied by a saline spring. 
Not far removed from this well a hillock rises ab- 
ruptly, with a flat summit, which received the name 
of Don's Battery, in consequence of a man, nick* 
named Don Morris, having defended himself on it 
for twenty-four hours against a number of the abo- 
rigines. The great elevation of these plains above 
the level of the sea, the extent of their range, and 
the quantity of saline matter in the pasturage, 
render them the best part of the island for feeding 
sheep and producing wool. Rock salt, lime-stone, 
free-stone, and iron-stone, besides a great variety of 
petrifactions, are found here. The climate is so 
healthy that Mr. Kermode has not had any illness 
in his family for five years, although it consisted of 
nearly twenty persons, including assigned servants.* 
About four miles from Mr. Kermode's house is 

* The prisoners who are assigned to poor settlers, call their 
masters, ' Dungaree settlers,' which is the name of the most common 
rice bags, or Indian wrappers. 


Ross Bridge, built over the Macquarie river, which 
at this place is nearly dry during the summer, but 
after the heavy rains rises to a great height. This 
river has its source in the adjacent hills, and flows 
in a n. w. direction, until it falls into the Lake 
River, at Formosa, which river unites with the 
South. Esk at Norfolk Plains. From this point it 
is by some persons called the South Esk, and by 
others the New River. After passing over a cataract 
at Launceston, it flows on and empties itself into 
the Tamar. The village of Ross, in the vicinity of 
the bridge, consists of about a dozen houses, a 
decent inn being of the number. An officer is 
stationed here, with a small detachment of soldiers ; 
and also a gentleman of the Commissariat depart- 
ment, in charge of Government stores. About a quar- 
ter of a mile from the village is a race course, with 
a betting stand, where races had been held for the six 
preceding years, but they are now to be discontinued, 
in consequence of races having been established at 
Hobart Town. In the neighbourhood of Ross, and 
adjoining the Saltpan Plains, there was a govern- 
ment reserve of 32,000 acres of excellent land, well 
known by the name of the ' Ross Reserve/ Various 
conjectures were formed as to the motives of the 
local government in keeping so large a portion of 
the most valuable land in the island to itself, and 
which they were said to be farming at a loss, while 
many of the settlers were sent to look for their 
grants in remote and otherwise inferior places. 


The general supposition was that it was reserved 
for the Church, and Government officers. 

I passed my time very pleasantly with Mr. Ker- 
mode's family, until the morning of 

Friday, 25, — when, immediately after break- 
fast, I set off with^ Mr. Haskett, in his gig, being 
accompanied by Mr. Kermode on horseback, 
as far as Ross^ Bridge. We proceeded through 
Campbell Town,* which lies about six miles beyond 
Ross, and is at present a mere village, though an 
officer and detachment of soldiers, together with a 
police magistrate, are stationed there. Its build- 
ings include two inns, the jail, and blacksmith's 
shop. About two o'clock, we reached Wanstead 
Park, eleven miles from Ross Bridge, the resi- 
dence of Mr. Willis, from whom I had received 
a congratulatory letter, with a most polite invita- 
tion to visit him, immediately on my arrival in 
the Colony. Before dinner we accompanied the 
ladies in a drive to Woodford Farm, the property 
of Mr. Willis ; and in the evening we were enter- 
tained with music and singing. 

Wanstead Park is a delightful estate, comprising 
about 9000 acres, 400 of which were, at this time, 
under cultivation, besides a garden of 15 acres, 
and two orchards. Gooseberries were so abundant, 
that, after gathering all that was necessary for the 
consumption of the family, and for making wine, 

* There is another route from Ross to Launceston, by which you 
must proceed nearly parallel with the left bank of the Macquarie. 


some bushels were allowed to rot on the ground. The 
orchards were equally prolific ; and, with the last 
crop of apples, Mr. Willis nad commenced the manu- 
facture of cider, being the first person who made the 
attempt on the island. There were about 22 miles 
of fearing on his estate,- and the buildings consisted 
of a large dwelling-house, newly erected ; a smaller 
one, in which he previously resided ; two capacious 
stables, granaries, thrashing and corn-mills, work- 
shops, and other out-houses. 

Saturday, 26. — Though the weather was so 
cold and showery this morning as to render the 
prospect of resuming our journey not very agree- 
able, we took leave of our kind friends, highly 
gratified with our visit. 

The names assigned to places in this part 
of the island, are not particularly remarkable for 
elegance ; we passed, on our way, a hollow, in 
which was a fine spring, with the cognomen of 
" Humphrey's Water Hole ;" and, a little further 
on, some rich meadow land, known by the name of 
u Moll Smith's Bottom, "havingbelonged to a woman 
who had been a convict, and came from Sydney to 
Launceston, with Colonel Patterson, in 1804. On 
passing the boundary of Wanstead Park, we entered 
Epping Forest, through which we had a dreary 
and difficult drive of five miles. We called at Mr. 
Wedge's Farm, ten miles from Wanstead, in the 
vain hope of obtaining a feed of Indian corn for our 
horse ; but, at another farm, about a mile beyond 

4 2e 


it, we were more successful, and met with a most 
hospitable reception from a new settler, of the 
name of Wood, who, we learnt, had been a Captain 
in the Army. He had not been more than twelve 
months in occupation of this farm ; and yet, by 
wonderful industry, he had erected a very com- 
fortable dwelling-house, one story in height above 
the ground-floor ; sown and reaped sixty acres of 
wheat ; made a good garden ; and fenced in a con- 
siderable portion of his land. He placed before us 
some of the best cheese I had tasted in the Colony, 
and which was made under the superintendence of 
his wife. Up to this period, very few persons had 
made either butter or cheese for market, England 
and New South Wales having always been looked 
to, for these articles. It is equally surprising that 
Hobart Town was very badly supplied with fruit, 
vegetables, and poultry; and it was, therefore, 
generally supposed that a dairy farm, with a good 
garden, would succeed better than any other, in the 
vicinity of the capital. 

Captain Wood had disembarked at Launceston, 
with his wife and ten children, and having at his 
command a little ready money, he very judiciously 
purchased some land in a desirable situation, instead 
of waiting in suspense, for a " chance grant" from 
Government ; for my part, judging from the expe- 
rience of others, I think it much more advantageous 
to purchase a farm that has been partly cleared, than 
to receive a grant of land, unless it was a part of some 


choice " reserve." This gentleman had hired several 
persons, in addition to his assigned servants, to carry 
his plans into execution as quickly as possible ; and 
he informed me it was his intention to have a large 
plantation of the Mymosa tree, for the express pur- 
pose of exporting its bark. 

From Captain Wood's we proceeded to the resi- 
dence of Mr. Nowland, a friend and countryman of 
Mr. Haskett, where we passed the night. 

Sunday, 27. — We took leave of Mr. and Mrs. 
Nowland immediately after breakfast ; and, having 
proceeded a mile from the house, we crossed the 
South Esk in a large ferry-boat, at a place called 
Perth, which is but a small village, with here and 
there a picturesque residence. There are several 
good farms in the neighbourhood, and two corn- 
mills, one belonging to Major M'Leod, and the 
other to Lieut. Ritchie, R.N. The South Esk is at 
this place a wide, and in winter time a deep and 
rapid stream. Its banks are clothed with beau- 
tiful shrubs. The ferry established here, over the 
South Esk, is a very inconvenient mode of trans- 
porting cattle, carriages, &c, besides which it 
has not ^infrequently been carried away by the 
force of the stream ; and the public were once put 
to the inconvenience of waiting three weeks for its 
return, during which time there was no mode of 
conveying cattle or carriages across the river, and 
it was too deep to be forded. A few years since 
the old punt sunk, while in the act of transporting 


some working cattle across the river, and from its 
not being deemed worthy of repair, the inhabitants 
of Perth, as well as many of the settlers in the neigh- 
bourhood, petitioned the Lieutenant-Governor for a 
bridge to be built, instead of another punt; but no 
answer was returned to their petition, and a new 
punt was built. 

It was but ten miles from this place to Launceston; 
and our way lay over a road in excellent order, being, 
with the first nine miles on leaving Hobart Town, 
the only portion of the distance of 120 miles between 
those towns, that had as yet been regularly made. 
The convicts would, therefore, be much more usefully 
employed in finishing this road, and constructing 
the necessary bridges, than in weaving cloth and 
making shoes, that might be obtained, at but little 
increase of expense, from the mother country. Many 
excellent tracts of land are at present unavailable, 
because the want of proper roads, and the rugged 
nature of the passes, would be a great drawback to 
settlers in such places, from the difficulty of commu- 
nication, and the consequent expense of bringing 
their produce to market. 

We arrived at Launceston soon after noon, and 
put up at the Cornwall Hotel, a good second-rate 
country inn. Several gentlemen favoured us with 
a visit, while we were taking some refreshment, after 
which we set out to explore the town. On the wharfs 
we observed a quantity of the Mymosa bark, that was 
lying there, ready for exportation to England; there 


being at the time three ships, whose princpal lading 
consisted of it. This barkwasabout to be shipped with 
the outside decayed coat still attached to it, although 
it not only possesses no tanning principle in itself, 
but is exceedingly injurious, inasmuch as it has a 
decided tendency to blacken the leather, and weaken 
the astringent properties of the other portions. If 
the persons who shipped this bark understood its 
quality better, or would take the trouble which the 
Dutch and Flemish people do, they might reckon 
on a considerable ultimate advantage from the 
higher character it would bear, and the increased 
demand that would arise for it in the European 
market. Economy in freight should, also, be no 
trifling inducement for the removal of all extraneous 
substances. The Mymosa, I am informed, possesses 
the tanning principle to a greater extent than any 
other known bark in the world, with the single 
exception of the Bengal Catechu. If an establish- 
ment were formed for preparing the extract in the 
Colony, their efforts would be attended with much 
more success than in exporting the bark itself. 
Copper utensils are, of course, requisite in prepar- 
ing the extract. 

Monday, 28. — I found the morning exceedingly 
foggy, owing, as the inhabitants informed me, to 
some marshy ground on the opposite side of the 
North Esk. Many people were of opinion that 
this marsh, if properly drained, would have been 
a much better site for the town than ,the pre- 


sent, as the anchorage would be far superior, below 
the mouth of the Esk, to that near which the town 
now stands. There is little doubt that, at no very 
distant period, when a bridge is built over the 
river, and the population increases, the town will 
be extended in that direction. 

We heard constant complaints, during our 
journey, of the Surveying Department, in conse- 
quence of their not measuring the respective grants 
with more expedition, the settlers being fre- 
quently engaged in disputes about the precise 
boundaries of their various estates. The impatience 
of the settlers, however, was in general incon- 
sistent ; for a much greater number of assistant 
surveyors would be required to answer all their 
demands, and yet they already complained loudly 
of the expense of that department. 

Tuesday, 29. — My time was a good deal en- 
gaged both yesterday and to-day, in receiving 
and paying visits ; all the respectable residents of 
the town appearing desirous of shewing me every 
polite attention in their power. I found time, 
however, to visit the jail this afternoon, being 
accompanied by Mr. Legge, the Sheriff, who kindly 
volunteered his services on the occasion. There 
were 57 convict-prisoners under charges of felony ; 
principally for cattle and sheep stealing: there 
^ere some cases of highway robbery, but none of 
murder. There were a few " free" persons conBned 
for debt ; and I found here also a native boy, who 


had been employed as a guide to some soldiers in 
pursuit of his black brethren, and who, having 
naturally endeavoured to escape, was placed here 
for security, and not for punishment, as appeared 
from his being well taken care of, and allowed to 
go about the jail, and amuse himself as he thought 
proper. He was a heavy, stupid boy, apparently 
little better than an idiot : he slept the greater part 
of his time, seeming indeed to care for little else 
but eating and sleeping. This description may be 
applied, with truth, to the majority of the abo- 
rigines, who appear to be a treacherous, blood- 
thirsty, and barbarous race ; though the severity 
with which they are treated, and the provocation 
they have received, are, I fear, much greater than 
the authorities are either aware of, or willing to 

Wednesday, 30. — At three o'clock this morning, 
I set off in a whale-boat, with Mr. Legge, to 
visit George Town, at the mouth of the Tamar, 
being a distance of forty miles, by water, below 
Launceston. The morning was cold and dreary 
when we first set out, but after the sun rose, it soon 
dispelled the fog, and we glided pleasantly and 
rapidly along, listening to the interesting descrip- 
tion, given us by the boatmen, of the various places 
as we passed. We landed at George Town about an 
hour before noon, and repaired to the only inn of 
which the town could boast, though it was not a 
very desirable refuge, containing, as it did, but one 


sitting-room, and one bed-room, for strangers. They 
contrived, however, to put a good breakfast and 
dinner before us. We found Major Wellman on the 
point of embarking for Launceston, with a detach- 
ment of the 57th regiment. Mr. Clark, the magis- 
trate, called upon us, and obligingly offered to 
become our cicerone ; we accordingly accompanied 
him over the hospital, jail, school, and female 
factory. The building, devoted to the school, had 
formerly been the vestry-room of the old churchj 
which was now in ruins ; and the house which was 
built as a residence for the clergyman, and which 
was the best in the town, was occupied at this time 
by the female prisoners. The jail and hospital 
were also in very bad condition, the public build- 
ings having been greatly neglected since the 
establishment of Launceston : indeed George Town 
had more the appearance of a deserted village, than 
the flourishing place which the sanguine expecta- 
tions of its founders led them to anticipate. Private 
buildings had been suspended, most of the inhabi- 
tants having proceeded to Launceston, leaving 
behind them but a few fishermen, and petty traders, 
to supply the wants of the population of the town. 
Notwithstanding the present gloom of its appear- 
ance, there was still but little doubt that it would 
gradually increase in size and importance, as it 
must eventually participate in the advantages 
arising from the increasing prosperity of Laun- 
ceston, and the extension of cultivation in that part 


of the country ; besides which, the navigation of 
the Tamar is so hazardous for large ships, that it is 
more than probable, when steam-boats are in 
common use, many vessels will discharge and take 
in their cargoes here, in preference to risking the 
dangers of the navigation to Launceston. A good 
road will also be made between these towns; at 
present there is but a mere bridle path, which is not 
only bad but dangerous, from the chance of being 
waylaid, and killed, by the aborigines.* A bar- 
barous murder was perpetrated by them, about this 
time, which will serve to shew the savage nature 
of their dispositions. A settler having left his hut, 
to perform some work at a little distance, his wife 
took a walk into the garden with a child in her 
arms, when some natives, who no doubt had watched 
the departure of her husband, rushed forward and 
instantly dispatched both her and the child with a 
shower of spears ; after which they robbed the hut 
and made their escape. 

In the evening we proceeded to East Head, 
which forms one side of the entrance of the Tamar, 
and is exactly four miles from George Town. On 
this Head have been erected a beacon, signal post, 
and pilot station. A light-house was much wanted, 
and has, I understand, been since erected. Numbers 
of fine fish may be taken outside the Heads. We 
passed a marsh that is overflowed by the tide, 

* This cause of apprehension is removed, by the subsequent 
transfer of the whole of tKe aborigines to an island in Bass's Straits. 


and which has been made an excellent fish-pond, 
having a barrier of wicker-work to secure the fish 
as the tide recedes. 

The entrance of the Tamar lies between two 
head-lands, called the East and West Heads, while 
the eastern and western mountains gradually rise 
on each side of the valley through which the 
river runs. The course of the river is very serpen- 
tine, but it is navigable, for vessels drawing four- 
teen feet, the whole way to Launceston, where it 
forms a junction with the North and South Esk. 
The navigation is, however, rendered rather dif- 
ficult in some parts by the strong eddies, especially 
in Whirlpool Reach, where the ship Kains was lost, 
during my stay in New South Wales. The en- 
trance is also dangerous, in consequence of numerous 
reefs and sunken rocks, to avoid which much cau- 
tion is requisite. 

There were two pilots living at George Town, but 
the Captain of the port resided at Launceston. This 
was a Mr. Walsh, who had been an officer in the 
Bridgewater at the time she sailed from New 
South Wales (10th of August, 1803), in company 
with the ship Cato, and H.M.S. Porpoise, Lieu- 
tenant Fowler, R.N., commander, on board of 
which vessel was the celebrated navigator, Flinders. 
The desertion of the two latter vessels by the Cap- 
tain of the Bridgewater is too well known to require 
a recital ; but as the ultimate fate of the Bridge- 
water herself is not so generally known, I will in- 


troduce a short account of it. The feet of her two 
companions having run on a coral reef was evident 
to all on board the Bridgewater, and when the 
Captain expressed his intention of proceeding on his 
voyage, some of his officers remonstrated strongly 
with him on the inhumanity of abandoning the 
crews of those vessels, who had escaped from the 
wreck to a small part of the shoal that was above 
the level of the sea* Their endeavours to induce 
him to approach the reef to leeward to afford them 
assistance, were, however, useless, as he persisted 
in his intention of prosecuting his voyage. They 
were thus abandoned to their own resources, from 
whence they were providentially delivered through 
the great exertions of Captain Flinders, who reached 
Sydney in an open boat on the 8th of September, 
where he procured vessels, and speedily repaired to 
their relief; while the unfortunate Bridgewater, 
with her perverse Captain, foundered at sea on her 
passage from Bombay to England. Mr. Walsh and 
another officer had left her in India, in consequence 
of a dispute with the Captain arising from the above 
affair ; thus they were providentially preserved, 
from the circumstance of their having advocated the 
cause of humanity. 

Captain Flinders' long detention at the Mauritius, 
where he arrived in a schooner, on his way from 
New South Wales to England, is recorded in his 
own interesting narrative; and Captain Fowler's 
service in the China Fleet is also such a matter of 


interest, occasioned by the wreck of the Porpoise 
which he commanded, that it is not likely to be 
forgotten in the maritime history of our country. 
At a subsequent period, Mr. Walsh, when in com- 
mand of the ship Claudine, discovered a new pas- 
sage in Torres' Straits, through which he sailed in 
eighteen hours, exclusive of the time consumed in 
anchoring at night. This passage has since been 
entitled the Claudine Channel. 

Thursday, 31. — Mr. Clark and Lieutenant Bain- 
bridge of the 57 th, breakfasted with us, after which 
we took leave of them, to return to Launceston. 
The first island on our way back was called Middle 
Island, from its position. It is well situated for a 
fort to protect the entrance of the river. The rain 
commenced shortly after our departure from George 
Town, and continued during the whole of our 
journey, so that after seven hours pulling, we arrived 
at Launceston, cold, wet, and hungry. The rain 
had made the ground so soft that we were up to our 
ancles in mud, and had great difficulty in getting 
along the streets. Their present condition, how- 
ever, was not by any means so bad as it frequently 
is; not long since a cart loaded with flour was 
leaving the town, having a drunken woman sitting 
on the top, with a child in her arms ; by a sudden 
jolt she was thrown off, and pitching on her head, was 
buried to her waist in the mud, so that she was nearly 
smothered before she could be extricated. Another 
accident happened shortly before my arrival, to a 


wedding party on their way home ; but their mishap 
may be attributed, perhaps, as much to the hilarity 
which followed the wedding dinner, as to the badness 
of the road. They were returning in a bullock- 
cart, and had nearly reached their destination, when 
the cart was overturned, and the bride, unhappily, 
was not only severely bruised, but lost the greater 
part of one ear ; the bride's-maid was equally unfor- 
tunate, having been nearly squeezed to death by a 
five-gallon cask of wine, while the bridegroom and 
his male friends, who occupied the fore part of the 
vehicle, escaped uninjured. 

We dined at our hotel, where there was a Table 
cfflote, at which we met several new settlers, one 
of whom was a brother-officer of mine. They all 
appeared to be very well pleased with their novel 
line of life, sanguinely expecting to realize large 
fortunes, which, doubtless, the prudent portion of 
them will effect in time. 

Good Friday, April 1. — The weather being very 
warm and fine, and as there was no morning service 
in the church, I accompanied Mr. Walsh to the 
Cataract of the South Esk, about a mile from the 
town. The inhabitants are obliged to send hither 
for the water they use for domestic purposes, that 
in the river being quite brackish. I was in- 
formed, that some families were at an expense of 
30Z. a-year for having the water they require 
brought to them in carts. The difficulty of procur- 
ing it has rendered the labours of that useful 


class — washerwomen — rather expensive, as they 
must either submit to the cost of procuring it, 
or the inconvenience of repairing to the Cataract, 
where they make fires, and wash and dry their 
clothes on the spot. The latter plan is most gene* 
rally adopted. Their charges are five shillings per 
dozen ; while at Hobart Town they are but three. 
Water might be conveyed from the Cataract in 
pipes all over the town, with the greatest facility ; 
and, I was told, that the inhabitants volunteered 
to form a company, and raise the money for that 
purpose, as well as for building a bridge * over the 
North Esk, in the direction of the road to George 
Town. The Colonial Government, however, for 
some unaccountable reason, withheld their permis- 
sion to carry the said improvements into effect; 
thus the inhabitants of Hobart Town and Laun- 
ceston, which are both situated in the immediate 
vicinity of a fine river, suffer serious inconvenience 
from the want of this necessary article, through 
the lack of proper attention on the part of the 

Saturday, 2. — I left Launceston this morning, 
with Lieutenant Dutton, R. N. for the purpose of 
proceeding to the Van Diemen's Land Horse-Com- 
pany's estate, named Cressy, which establishment 

♦ Since the time of my visit to the Colony, the Government have 
built a bridge over this river, on the direct road to George 
Town ; but it is built on piles, which are not likely to be very durable, 
as they are not charred, and none of the sap-wood is removed. 


was under his superintendence. I took my depar- 
ture, not without regret, in occasioning which, 
however, the comforts or conveniences that the 
place afforded, had but little share, being in itself 
the mere skeleton of a town. The buildings, in 
general, are of but an inferior order; the streets 
little else than bad roads; and the wharfs mere tem- 
porary erections. It possesses capabilities, never- 
theless, which may, ere long, be turned to advan- 
tage ; and as the best soil is to be found on this 
side of the island, it may fairly be inferred, that 
not only its trade and population will rapidly in- 
crease, but that, at no distant period, it may be- 
come a formidable rival to the present capital. 

My regret at leaving Launceston so soon, was 
occasioned by a desire to become better acquainted 
with some of the residents, among whom I am in- 
duced to allude particularly to a Mr. Lawrence, 
from whose superior intelligence I had hoped to 
derive much useful information respecting the Co- 
lony. This gentleman left England in a small 
cutter, which he purchased for the occasion, bring- 
ing with him considerable property, that it was 
but natural to expect would have procured him 
great influence in the island. His intellectual 
powers and gentlemanly deportment, rendered it 
rather surprising that he was not invited to become 
a Member of Council ; but this neglect was ac- 
counted for by his not being a favourite with, or too 
independent for the Colonial Government. From 

432 horse-company's farm. 

the specimen which I had of his abilities and expe- 
rience, I think it is to be regretted, that they were 
not rendered more available. 

Mr. Lawrence's son is one of the best bota- 
nists in the island. In the course of his rambles 
through the woods, he has had two or three narrow 
escapes from being speared by the natives. I had 
also the pleasure of passing some time with Capt. 
Lyttleton, the Police Magistrate, and Mr. West- 

We left Launceston at eight o'clock this morn- 
ing, taking the old road for Norfolk Plains, with 
the intention of breakfasting with Mr. Cooke, at 
Cookefield, about eight miles distant. On our way 
we met the celebrated Moll Smith, on horseback, 
who stopped to speak with Mr. Dutton. After 
breakfast, Mr. Cooke accompanied us through the 
best cultivated portion of Norfolk Plains, to Cressy, 
calling in the way on Mr. W. Archer, at Wattle 
Park, and Mr. Thomas Archer, at Woolmers. 

Sunday, 3. — Messrs. Ebden and Flaharty, ar- 
rived from Launceston to breakfast, a distance of 
20 miles ; and Mr. Kermode joined us about noon. 
We proceeded over the Company's farm, and 
visited the dwelling-house that was first erected 
on the estate. We afterwards repaired to the 
garden, which is very extensive and well stocked 
with fruit, forest, and shrub trees. My compa- 
nions were also gratified with an inspection of the 
beautiful horses belonging to the establishment. 


About two o'clock we mounted our poor hacks, in 
comparison with the splendid animals just exhi- 
bited, and rode to the farm of Lieutenant Skar- 
don, R. N. about four miles distant. We passed 
through a dense forest, thickly strewed with fallen 
and decayed trees, and returned at sunset to dinner. 

Monday, 4, — I accompanied Lieutenant Dutton 
and Mr. Kermode, this afternoon, to the residence 
of Mr. Joseph Archer, at Pensanger, a few miles 
distant from Cressy. Pensanger is a fine estate, 
being extensively cleared, and in a high state of 
cultivation ; the Lake River forms its limit to the 
north. Mr. Archer possesses some of the finesf 
flocks and herds in the Colony ; the average value 
of one flock of 900 Merino sheep being, at this 
time, 10Z. per head. He had also a very large 
garden, well stocked with fruit trees, and made 
this year 300 gallons of gooseberry wine, which we 
found an excellent substitute for Champagne. 

Tuesday, 5. — Having taken leave of our hospitable 
friends this morning, we proceeded on our return 
to Hobart Town. Soon after leaving Pensanger, 
we passed through Mr. Lawrence's estate, For- 
mosa, so called from its beautiful scenery, being 
considered one of the most picturesque spots in the 
island. Shortly after we met with Mr. Fletcher, who 
gave us an invitation, which we readily accepted, 
as we could not have had another opportunity of 
obtaining refreshment until we reached the place 
at which we purposed passing the night. Our host 

4 2 f 


had been in the army ; and, like many who had 
abandoned a profession, for what they supposed a 
more lucrative employment, found himself not only 
out of his element, but with little prospect of 
realizing those golden dreams in which he had 
indulged. It would appear that the failure, or ill- 
success of many of the settlers in this Colony, may 
be chiefly attributed to their undertaking more, at 
first, than their finances or their labour will enable 
them to accomplish. By endeavouring thus to 
carry into effect, views that far exceed their means, 
they are frequently brought to a stand-still in the 
midst of operations which it is ruinous to stop, and 
to proceed with which they are often obliged to 
obtain loans at an exorbitant rate of interest. 

About three o'clock Mr. Kermode and I resumed 
our journey, and reached, at the close of the day, 
the abode of Mr. Gatensby, a respectable Yorkshire 
farmer, who came out as steerage passenger in the 
ship in which Mr. Kermode left England. The 
latter, finding him a very intelligent and experienced 
man in his calling, was happy to avail himself of his 
conversation during the voyage. He brought out 
with him, besides his wife and seven children, a 
blacksmith and wheelwright ; and having set up a 
water-mill, which he had purchased in England, he 
used it in grinding wheat for his neighbours at a 
shilling a bushel ; and as it wag kept in constant 
employment, the profits resulting from it far sur- 
passed his expectations. With the assistance of 

peter's pass. 435 

his sons and a few government servants, he had 
cleared and cultivated a great portion of his original 
grant of 1500 acres ; and in addition to the small 
dwelling-house he built on taking possession, he 
had just completed the erection of an excellent 
stone farm-house, 48 feet square, with one story and 
attics above the ground floor, the latter of which 
was divided into four apartments ; one being used 
as the kitchen, another as the dairy, and the re- 
maining two for general purposes. The kitchen, 
which was very capacious, served for their sitting 
as well as cooking apartment ; and here he enter- 
tained his friends, and casual travellers, in a style 
that was equally hospitable, and void of ceremony. 

Wednesday, 6. — After breakfast this morning 
we proceeded on our journey, and having stopped 
but a few minutes at the inn near Ross Bridge, to 
refresh ourselves with a glass of good English 
porter, we arrived at Mona Vale, about three 
o'clock. We were welcomed by Mrs. Kermode on 
our return, and I had once more an opportunity of 
experiencing the kindness of this amiable family, 
with whom I remained until 

Monday, 11. — When I set out for Hobart 
Town with Mr. Kermode in his carriage. We 
stopped about ten o'clock to refresh our horses at 
Peter's Pass, where there is an excellent spring 
of water, and reached Harrison's Inn, at Jericho, 
about four o'clock, where we met Dr. Wilson, 
Surgeon in the Royal Navy, who accompanied 


us in our route to Green Ponds. The road was in 
such a wretched condition part of the way, that we 
could only proceed at the rate of two miles an hour, 
and experienced much difficulty in avoiding the 
numerous holes, which render it very dangerous 
after dark. It was consequently very late, when we 
reached Stiglitz's Inn, where, according to the 
American fashion, we had eggs, and different viands, 
with our tea ; a practice in general usage in this 
Colony, from the habit of dining early, which is 
common among the settlers. 

Tuesday, 12. — We left Green Ponds soon after 
sunrise, made a short stage of six miles to Butcher's 
Inn at Bagdad, from which we departed at eleven, 
and passing Green Point Ferry at two, arrived in 
Hobart Town about four o'clock. 

Wednesday, 13. — I had hastened my return, in 
order to engage my passage on board the Red 
Rover, which was about to sail for Sydney. I ac- 
companied Captain Armstrong (my fellow-pas- 
senger from China), to the ship, and as he was 
bound for the same place, we agreed to pay the 
usual sum of 10/. each for our passage. 

Thursday, 14. — I dined to-day with Colonel 
Logan and the officers of the 63rd regiment, by 
special invitation from the whole mess ; indeed I 
cannot feel sufficiently grateful for the kind and 
polite attention which I received from these gen- 
tlemen during my stay in Van Diem en's Land. 
My previous acquaintance with some of them in 


England was, no doubt, conducive to this friendly 

Sunday y 17.— I paid a farewell visit to my friends, 
Mr. and Mrs. Gregson, at Risden, to-day, and on 

Monday, the 18fA, returned to HoJ>art Town, at 
which I had scarcely landed, when I was informed 
that the Red Rover had received orders from the 
Governor to get under weigh immediately. This 
vessel had been chartered in England to convey 
prisoners to Van Diemen's Land, and Sydney ; 
having performed the first part of her contract, she 
was now despatched to New South Wales with 
a detachment of the 17th regiment, and also to a 
few run-away convicts. Previous to my em- 
barkation, I met with the celebrated painter, Mr. 
Glover, who had just arrived in the colony. He 
expressed himself highly delighted with the scenery 
of which he had been able to get a view, in his 
journey across the island, from Launceston to 
Hobart Town, 

The peculiar situation of Van Diemen's Land, as 
a convict settlement, has made it the arena of a 
discussion, involving one of the most interesting 
points in the whole range of the morals of legisla- 
tion, — the question of transportation a* a punish- 
ment. Connected with this inquiry is another 
important topic, upon the right understanding and 
treatment of which, the prosperity of the Colony 
mainly depends, —I mean the system of granting 
land. „ 


Archbishop Whateley's work on secondary punish- 
ments has given occasion to considerable difference 
of opinion, in which, as may naturally be supposed, 
the residents of Van Diemen's Land are found to 
be in direct opposition to the arguments advanced 
by the Archbishop, and those who agree with him 
in his objections to the present system of trans? 
portation. It is agreed on the one hand, that 
transportation is ineffective as a punishment, and 
that the criminal who is sentenced for a limited 
term of years to Van Diemen's Land, to be there 
assigned to a service under the superintendence of 
the settlers, is placed in an improved situation, 
instead of being punished, and that, by inference, 
the proper way to deter men from evil practices is 
to make terrible examples of the guilty at home, 
by confining them in jails, and otherwise coercing 
them. On the other hand, it is urged that trans- 
portation is a punishment of the most severe and 
painful nature — that the disgrace it inflicts is 
irremediable — that the separation from home and 
friends is a measure of extreme, but wholesome 
condemnation — that at the same time it presents 
means of restoring the moral habits, and reclaiming 
to society all those offenders in whom the sense of 
morality is not extinct; that it is a wiser system 
than that of jails, which only have the effect of 
hardening the mind, and by the contagious influence 
of evil intercourse, increasing the sphere of crime ; 
and that it affords to the Colonial settler a ready 


resource of labour, without which he would find it 
very difficult to prosecute his speculations with 
success. Such are the leading features of the 
arguments on both sides, in so far as transportation 
is concerned, and it will be seen that the side which 
the settlers take is that which leans to their interests, 
but which, as it occurs to me, is also the side on 
which there is the greatest amount of moral truth. 
It appears to me that there can hardly be any 
doubt that transportation is effective, not merely as 
a preventive, by the final nature of its operation, 
but as a punishment, by the direct and complete 
control it exercises over the offender. The utility 
of convict labour must also be allowed to be very 
great in a new country, where labour is in such 
constant demand, and where the system of sur- 
veillance is now brought to such perfection, that it 
is almost impossible for the convict to escape from 
the penal obligations under which he is placed. In 
addition to these arguments in its favour, is one 
still stronger than all the rest, the inducements 
which it holds out for the return of offenders to the 
paths of virtue. It cannot be denied that the 
system of our jails is not conducive to the cultiva- 
tion of moral habits, and that the mingling of 
convicts with free servants under a strict plan of 
discipline, is better adapted to reclaim them, than 
the chains of a prison, or the vicious associations, 
with which such confinement is connected. 

With respect to the mode of granting lands, it 


would seem also that the advocates of the old 
system of granting small pieces of waste land, 
subject to a small quit rent, or as a purchase 
payable by easy instalments, to emigrant settlers 
who possess the means of improving such grants; 
have decidedly the advantage over those who 
introduced the plan of exposing the unappropriated 
territory to a periodical sale; in consequence of 
which it is usually bought up by old and wealthy 
landed proprietors, who annex their new acquisitions 
as sheep and cattle pastures to their former posses- 
sions. The effect of the abolition of the former 
system of granting land has been such, that since 
that period scarcely a single agricultural settler 
has emigrated from England, to cultivate any of 
those waste lands. The desire to promote pauper 
emigration, partly with a view to the relief of the 
distressed districts in England, and partly to 
correct certain abuses that had crept into the old 
system, was the avowed cause of this change ; but 
it is much to be feared that the consequences have 
not been such as the promoters of the design anti- 
cipated. It has been found that the influx of 
pauper labour has drawn into the Colony a class of 
persons the least desirable for the wants of a place 
where so much convict labour could already be 
obtained ; and that the pauper emigrants have 
not only been disappointed, for the most part, in 
their own views, but have been productive of 
much insubordination amongst the convicts in the 


service of the settlers, by clashing with them in the 
field of employment. 

On the whole, it would seem that the encourage- 
ment of independent emigrants, who have sufficient 
resources of their own to enable them to cultivate 
the tracts assigned to them, would be a more bene- 
ficial system for the Colony than that which has of 
late years been adopted ; and that the undue intro- 
duction of pauper labourers into a settlement where 
labour to a certain extent exists already, which it 
is the interest of the Government, and the Mother 
Country, to employ in full, is calculated to pre- 
cipitate many evils. These opinions are the result 
of personal observation, and not of mere theoretical 
examination of the subject, and if they possess any 
value, it is because they are practical, and not 
speculative. The object to which they point is of 
the highest importance to the welfare of the settle- 
ment, and demands from every one who takes an 
interest in it the most mature consideration. 


Departure from Van Diemen's Land— Bass's Straits — Melancholy 
' Fate of the Discoverer— Arrival at New South Wales— Author's 
Reasons for abridging his MSS. — Excursion in the Interior to 
the Northward — First Steam- Packet on the Hunter — Journey to 
the Southward — Morrumbidgee — Argyle — Goulburn Plains — 
Journey to Bathurst, and back to Sydney — Author joins a Party 
of Exploration, to find a Road from Narriga to Jervis Bay — Ad- 
ventures and Observations by the way — Disappointment of the 
Expectations of the Party — Botany Bay— La Perouse's Monu- 
ment — Tomb of a French Priest — Inscription on a Gum-tree- 
Tablet to Cook the Navigator — Culpable Indifference of the 
Colonists — Soil of New South Wales— Aborigines — Colonization. 

A slight delay occurred in our departure from 
Van Diemen's Land, occasioned by the Captain 
being obliged to wait for an order to receive and 
victual the troops. He also discovered that he had 
got another ship's charter-party, instead of his own, 
from the Colonial office. At eight o'clock in the 
morning, however, on the 19th of April, 1831, we 
left our anchorage and stood out to sea. Having 
a fresh southerly wind, and the Red Rover being a 
fine fast-sailing ship, we cleared the smooth waters 
of the Derwent with great rapidity. But the 
moment the tranquil and picturesque scene which 
the shores of this beautiful river present, faded 
from our view, a sight of a very different character 
burst upon us. * We were now launched into the 

bass's straits. 443 

great Southern Ocean, without any known land 
between us and the Pole ; and, as the wind blew 
strong from that quarter, we had a rough sea and 
threatening sky, while, to leeward, there was a 
foaming surge breaking on the shore of an iron- 
bound coast, along which we were sailing in a pa- 
rallel line, at about three miles distant. Cape Pillar, 
past which we sailed, before we bore away for New 
Holland, is a vast high wedge projecting into the 
ocean, and crowned with a range of lofty single 
columns. The figure of the shore between Cape 
Balsatic and Cape Pillar, is a continued succession 
of basaltic formations, displaying a steep and im- 
posing front as the voyager proceeds, gazing with 
mute admiration at those stupendous works of 

The most interesting point of the voyage from Van 
Diemen's Land to New South Wales, is the eastern 
entrance of Bass's Straits, which we crossed. The 
melancholy fate of the fearless navigator, who gave 
his name to these Straits, invests them with a deep 
and painful interest If the landsman feels affected, 
as he must naturally do, when, in the desert, or the 
ancient forest, he meets some memorial of those 
intrepid travellers who first explored the untrodden 
wilds, and fixed their places for ever on the map, 
what must not be the sensations with which the 
voyager passes over the waves that engulfed the 
devoted sons of science, who, in the midst of un- 
known dangers, and encompassed by perils against 


which it was often impossible for them to make 
provision, prosecuted their arduous researches in 
the cause of knowledge, and the diffusion of the 
arts of civilized life ? The associations with which 
the sea is connected, its aspect of desolation and 
appalling grandeur, the hopeless extent of the 
waste, lying bare as far as the eye can reach to 
where the horizon dips, like a cloud, into the ap- 
parently limitless ocean, the isolation from all 
means of succour, and the helplessness of man 
against the wild fury of the elements, are circum- 
stances that give to the disasters at sea, a character 
of much more thrilling interest than we can at- 
tach, much as our sympathies may be worked, to 
any accidents or fatalities that befall the adven- 
turer by land. I felt this truth very forcibly when 
our vessel bounded like a cork over the swell 
of those memorable Straits. Poor Bass ! who, in 
January, 1798, had the honour of settling the dis- 
puted point, whether there was, or was not, a 
passage for ships between Van Diemen's Land and 
New Holland, and for whose exertions, Flinders, 
very properly, considered he merited the distinc- 
tion of having his name immortalized, in the Straits 
which were the scene of his extraordinary exertions ; 
poor Bass, was destined to a fate as melancholy, as 
his life had been useful and disinterested. The last 
fact known of him, is that he sailed from New South 
Wales in a merchant brig, belonging to himself, 
with the intention of returning to England by way 


of Cape Horn. He was never heard of more ! and 
it is supposed that the vessel must either have 
foundered in a heavy gale, or been shattered to 
pieces on one of the numerous islands of ice that 
float upon those seas. As a point of some historical 
interest, connected with this subject, I may add 
that Captain Brookes, of the Atlas, was the first 
person who navigated a ship through Bass's 
Straits, on his voyage from England to New South 
"Wales, in January 1802, and that Commodore 
Boudan was the next, who arrived in Port Jackson 
about a fortnight or three weeks after the Atlas. 

Our voyage to Sydney was accomplished in ten 
days. My readers who have accompanied me 
thus far on my adventures round the world, and 
who, perhaps, will give me credit for possessing 
at least an anxious desire to collect such informa- 
tion as might be likely to yield either instruction 
or amusement, have, probably, already anticipated, 
that a country so thoroughly sifted by previous and 
subsequent inquirers as New South Wales, could fur- 
nish but little matter with which it would be profit- 
able to occupy their attention. My object has not been 
to make a book, but to furnish the results of long 
and arduous journeys of investigation, with a view 
to contribute something, however slight, to those 
stores of information for which society is indebted to 
the exertions of practical travellers. My principal 
difficulty throughout the, to me, laborious yet 
delightful task of preparing these volumes for the 

446 author's reasons for 

press, from my voluminous, and, of necessity, super- 
abundant manuscripts, has been to select and not to 
supply the materials for publication. In every 
country I visited, I gathered more information 
than I afterwards considered it expedient or con- 
venient to publish ; and if I felt this redundant 
accumulation, in lands which have been hitherto 
but seldom described, it may be easily conceived how 
much more I feel it, in reference to such a depen- 
dency of the British Crown, which has been so often 
described, a9 Australasia. It is now nearly four 
years since I left that country, and at that time it 
had not been quite so fully explored as it has been 
since ; besides that, although Went worth, Cun- 
ningham, and others, had written folly and clearly 
upon it, there yet remained much to be said upon 
points which prejudice had mis-stated or obscured ; 
or which, in the contest of struggling interests, had 
been altogether overlooked. I thus felt the necessity 
of extending my inquiries as far as my opportunities 
enabled me to penetrate, and the information I 
collected, amounts in quantity to a bulk equal to 
one of these volumes. Having, however, pledged 
myself to the public to limit my work to four 
volumes, and being well satisfied that the further 
extension of the publication, with a view to embrace 
a detailed narrative of my different journeys through 
the interior, would be infinitely less interesting and 
novel, than that part of my travels which related to 
China, I have endeavoured to allot my assigned 


space, in proportion to the interest of the different 
subjects. New South Wales is a field already so 
diligently reaped, and China so much resembles 
a newly discovered land, particularly since the 
abolition of the East India Company's commercial 
privileges has rendered our comparative unac- 
quaintance with it the more glaring, that I believe 
I adopt that course which the reader will consider 
the most desirable, in passing rapidly over the one, 
and giving to the other all the room which its 
great importance demands. What I have to say, 
therefore, concerning New South Wales, shall be 
Gom pressed into as brief a compass as possible. 

My residence there filled a period of eleven 
months, during which time I was almost constantly 
engaged in excursions into the interior, and in 
visiting all the points of interest connected with the 
past history of the place, its present aspect and 
prospects, and the future projects for its improve- 
ment. On the whole, I may confidently say that 
there exists in the Colony a great many sources 
of reasonable prosperity, from which the happiness 
of its population in years yet to come may be safely 
predicted. But of course, as we find in all other 
infant settlements, there still remains many diffi- 
culties to be surmounted, before those just hopes 
can be realized. 

After remaining a fortnight at Sydney, I left that 
town in the Lambton, cutter, to visit the Australasian 
Agricultural Company's Establishment, at Port 


Stephens, which was then under the superintendence 
of Sir Edward Parry; and passing from thence to 
Maitland, and Newcastle, tracked the river Hunter 
to its source, returning again to Maitland, and 
from that place to Sydney by steam, having been 
fortunate enough, at the cost of traversing with 
unusual speed a very bad and rugged road, to arrive 
in time for the departure of the Sophia Jane, the 
first steam packet that ever navigated the waters 
of the Hunter. The occasion was one of great 
congratulation and rejoicing to the settlers on that 
line, and the two steamers which were then, for 
the first time, introduced into the Colony, the 
William the Fourth, and the Sophia Jane, were 
appropriately called the harvest carts of the garden 
of New South Wales, in consequence of their great 
importance to the internal intercourse of the agri- 

In the following month (July) I left Sydney again 
for a tour in the interior, and passing through Argyle, 
proceeded in a south-westerly direction to the shores 
of the river Morrumbidgee (Great and Good), which 
forms the south-western boundary of the Colony. 
This river, which is deep, rapid, and wide, is not ford- 
able, and on approaching its banks I felt the wind, 
accompanied by occasional hail, blowing very 
keenly from the southward ; but the view of the 
snowy mountains, and the ranges in its immediate 
vicinity, abundantly repay the traveller for the 
inconveniences to which the trip personally exposes 


him. From the Morrumbidgee I returned to 
Argyle, and after traversing Goulburn Plains, I 
made a de-tour through an inner range of hills at 
the back of the Blue Mountains, and thence pro- 
ceeded on the route to Bathurst. On my arrival 
at Bathurst it was my intention to have proceeded 
to the northward, still keeping on the western 
side of the Blue Mountain range, about 150 miles, 
until I came to Liverpool Plains, nearly in a line 
with the head of the Hunter, where I proposed 
to cross the chain, and after lingering a short time 
with my friends in that neighbourhood, to make the 
best of my way down to Sydney. But this intention 
was frustrated by adverse circumstances. The 
continual rains had swollen the rivers and flooded 
the low grounds to such a degree that the country 
was impassable, and, although there was no scarcity 
of horses, and the people were so much in want of 
money, as to be obliged to carry on their dealings 
chiefly in barter, I could not procure either horses 
or guides for hire, to enable me even to attempt the 
prosecution of my desire. In this situation I was 
compelled to abandon my intention, and to take 
the new line of road over Mount Vittoria, which 
was at that time in forward progress, and has since 
been completed. Yet even here the difficulty of 
procuring a guide was such, that I was obliged to 
apply to Government for permission to be attended 
by one of the mounted police part of the way, which 
was readily granted to me. On my journey across 
4 2 g 


the mountain I visited the celebrated cataract, 
called the Campbell Cataract, by Governor Mac- 
quarie, but afterwards re-christened the Bougainville 
Cataract, by Sir Thomas Brisbane ; the former in 
honour of his lady, the latter in honour of the 
French Commodore who visited it. The summit of 
the waterfall is 2800 feet above the level of the 
sea, and here, much to the horror of the serjeant 
of police who accompanied me, I stood on the brink 
of the perpendicular rock that looks down into the 
yawning abyss, which receives the descending 
torrent. My companion entreated me not to 
approach the fearful spot, assuring me that he 
had been there with some distinguished persons, 
who would not venture to gaze into that awful 
depth until he had got a secure hold of them ; but 
I requested him not to touch me, giving him an 
assurance that I had a complete control over my 
nerves, and that although I was perfectly conscious 
of the awful chasm at my feet, I encountered no 
risk whatever in advancing to the extremity of the 
ledge of rock. While 1 stood there, contemplating 
in sightless wonder, the sublimity of the scene, I 
could not help thinking of blind Gloster at the 
cliffs of Dover ; the situation was very similar, and 
my imagination easily supplied equivalent figures 
to that of the one, who, " half-way down hung 
gathering samphire, dreadful trade !" 

After my return to Sydney on this occasion I 
remained there until the following month, when I 


undertook an expedition of a more novel cha- 
racter than any upon which I had previously 
entered. As this journey had a practical object 
in view, and carried me through a part of the 
country which is not generally well known, I will 
venture upon a little more detail in my narrative 
of it, than I have hitherto indulged in my previous 

On the 10th of October I set out from Sydney in 
company with Lieut. Futter, R.N., for Argyle, with the 
intention of joining a party who proposed to perform 
a journey over the coast range of mountains to the 
sea, near Jervis Bay, for the purpose of ascertaining 
whether it would be practicable to make a road 
from Argyle to the coast. In the afternoon, a short 
distance beyond Liverpool, we met Mr. Ryrie, who 
informed Lieut. Futter that his overseer had been 
barbarously murdered at an out-station, by some of 
the men under his charge. In consequence of this 
information we hastened forwards, passing the first 
night at Kirkham, with Lieut. Vine, R.N. the second 
at Bong Bong, and reached Lumley on the third, 
a distance of one himdred and forty miles from 
Sydney. On our arrival, Lieut. Futter repaired to 
Goulburn Plains to inquire into the circumstances 
of his overseer's death, and obtain the assistance of 
the magistrate in prosecuting the implicated party. 
Finding that he was likely to be detained, I de- 
termined to proceed without waiting his return, 
and started early on the 17th for Mr. Ryrie's farm, 
Arn-Prior, by a different route from that which I 


had taken on a previous occasion. I proceeded as 
far as Lake Bathurst, and then crossed the country 
in an easterly direction, but did not reach the farm 
of Mr. Ryrie till long after dark, the ignorance of 
my guide having greatly increased the distance, as 
I might have made my way through the bush in 
half the time. I always console myself, however, 
on being thus misled, by the acquisition of additional 
knowledge of the topography of the country, to 
which such accidents always lead. From Am- 
Prior, the residence of Mr. Ryrie, I pursued my 
journey for thirty miles to Narriga, the farm of 
Mr. Galbraith, who had invited me to accompany 
him in exploring the country for the purpose already 
mentioned. His farm is situated on the inland 
side of the coast range, and not more than twenty 
miles in a direct line from the sea. We examined 
a ford across the Shoalhaven river at Kallimundy, 
about eight miles from his farm, and over which 
it would be necessary to erect a bridge, in case a 
road should be formed. We found the stream 
rapid and the bottom greatly incommoded by 
some very large stones. On the following day we 
visited an opening in the coast range, abreast of 
Jervis Bay, through which we thought the road 
might be carried without much difficulty. About 
four miles from Mr. Galbraith's house we crossed 
the End rick, a small stream which falls into the 
Shoalhaven, and soon after reached the Kloof, an 
opening in the mountains which has the appear- 
ance of being caused by some convulsion of nature. 


We proceeded nearly 300 yards up the gorge, 
which was almost impassable, from the quantity of 
brushwood, and masses of friable sandstone, until 
we reached the table land of the range, where one 
of my companions had a fine view of the sea. The 
result of our inspection was a conviction of the faci- 
lity with which a road might be formed here, and 
surprise that the convicts are not employed in a 
labour, that would be attended with such consider- 
able benefit to the Colony. 

If, instead of sending the irreclaimable convicts, 
by which I mean those malefactors who havte under- 
gone a colonial sentence, and are condemned a 
second time to banishment — if, instead of sending 
them to Norfolk Island, to expiate their crimes in 
unprofitable labour, they were to be employed at 
the remote points of the Colony in removing the 
great natural difficulties that arrest the progress of 
colonization, to what vast objects of utility might 
not that physical power, which is now lost to the 
Settlement, be employed. Lofty mountains and 
rapid streams divide the fertile lands from exten- 
sive regions that lie uncultivated beyond, and it 
requires but that those distant tracts shall be ren- 
dered accessible to the settler, in order that they 
may be reduced beneath the dominion of the plough. 
But such great designs cannot be accomplished by 
individuals : they demand the united efforts of or- 
ganized bodies ; and, as all the purposes proposed 
by Government in sentencing the convicts to Nor- 
folk Island, would be attained by placing them at 


those remote stations, where they could be made the 
instruments of real general benefit, it appears to me 
extraordinary that the obvious advantages of such 
a measure has not led to its adoption. If it were 
carried into effect, the expense of the transhipment 
of the convicts, which is very heavy, would be 
spared ; besides the risk of losing vessels, which 
has sometimes occurred, when the convicts have 
availed themselves of favourable opportunities to 
seize them, would be avoided ; while the same mili- 
tary force that now guards them at Norfolk Island 
would be sufficient for their surveillance elsewhere, 
and the main object of their banishment — their ex* 
elusion from all communication with their fellow- 
convicts — would still be secured. 

Having remained a few days at Mr. Galbraith's, 
we set out on our expedition, being accompanied 
by Mr. Galbraith, Mr. W. Ryrie, a servant, and 
two of the natives as guides. About three miles 
from the farm we passed a waterfall, near which we 
commenced our ascent of the range, which threw 
many obstacles in our way, being steep, stony, and 
thickly wooded. My companions proceeded on 
foot, leading their horses, while I remained on 
horseback, being led by one of the guides. He 
was so occupied, however, in picking his own steps, 
that he frequently forgot me, and I was conse- 
quently consigned to the tender mercies of the 
branches by which we were surrounded, and by 
which I was at length carried off my horse, receiv- 


ing some contusions by the fall. I could only con- 
gratulate myself that I was not left, like Absalom, 
in a state of suspension. Having reached the sum- 
mit, our way became less difficult for two or three 
miles, but we were again interrupted by a deep 
muddy creek, on Yerock Flats, which we were 
unable to ford until we had proceeded in a southerly 
direction nearly to its source. Descending in an 
easterly direction, we bivouacked for the night on 
some very damp sandy ground, hobbled our horses, 
and left them to shift for themselves ; and having 
kindled a fire, our native attendants made us some 
tea, after which we rolled ourselves up in blankets, 
with our saddles for pillows, and lay down for the 
night. The novelty of my situation kept me awake 
in spite of the fatigues of the day, and I was enter- 
tained till daybreak with a howling serenade from 
the wild native dogs. In the morning we resumed 
our journey, and passed through trackless and stony 
gullies, in which our way was greatly impeded by 
jungle, and creepers of an extraordinary size and 
length. Our blacks were totally unacquainted with 
this part of the route, and were so disconcerted by 
the difficulties which we had to encounter, that we 
were obliged to halt for the purpose of recruiting 
their spirits, as well as our own. On setting out 
again we had for a short space a level country, in 
which many cattle tracks were observed. This easy 
route, however, did not long continue, and we re- 
turned once more to our former laborious travelling, 


which appeared to me at times to bear a very close 
resemblance to a steeple chase. We looked in vain 
for a herdsman's hut, in which we might repose for 
the night, and were obliged to content ourselves 
once more with the sky for our canopy. The place 
which we chose for our retreat was one of excessive 
wildness, surrounded by forests, caverns, dried up 
streams, and patches of land covered with fallen 
trees. Our situation was rendered the more com- 
fortless, by the discovery that our tea and sugar 
bags had been torn from their fastenings by the 
branches of the trees. This loss, however, was of 
but slight importance, in comparison with that 
which we encountered on the following morning, 
when to our dismay, we discovered that all our 
horses had disappeared. Fortunately, after a weary 
search, we recovered them all but one, which we 
heard no more of during the remainder of our expe- 
dition. In the afternoon we resumed our journey 
under very unfavourable appearances, for the sky 
bore visible marks of an impending thunderstorm. 
Our fears were soon realized ; the rain came down in 
torrents, and the thunder and lightning were of that 
awful grandeur, which none but those who have 
witnessed their effect in a tropical climate can well 
conceive. My companions gave way under the 
depressing effects produced by the storm, and all 
my efforts to induce them to push on, in hopes of 
finding some stockman's hut, were used in vain, 
notwithstanding our provisions were getting very 


short, and we knew not when we should have an 
opportunity of replenishing them. We had not 
long remained debating, under the chilling influ- 
ence of the wetting we had received, when our 
blacks entreated us to ' nangry' there, having dis- 
covered a cave which they said would afford us 
ample shelter. This information decided the dis- 
pirited set, and we descended a deep gully. On 
arriving at the cave we found it much more commo- 
dious than we expected. It was a natural gallery in 
the solid rock, about twenty -five yards long, and open 
at each extremity. Here we made a fire, and endea- 
voured to dry our clothes, but the smoke prevented 
our approaching it imtil the wood was reduced to 
embers. The natives more wisely kindled their 
fire on the outside, beneath an overhanging rock. 
When we had refreshed ourselves, we lay down to re- 
pose on our rocky couch, having left our horses to 
luxuriate on the fine grass in the gully. The next 
morning we proceeded for about an hour over a 
level tract of land, but were stopped at length by 
an immense gully, which we determined on de- 
scending, to avoid the circuitous route we must 
otherwise have taken. Our descent was very tedious, 
and occupied nearly two hours ; it was further de- 
layed by the chicanery of our guides, who frequently 
asked us to stop, under pretence of finding the way, 
while they amused themselves with cutting down 
the palm-trees, for the sake of the cabbage which 
grows on the top. 


Soon after our departure from this gully, our 
journey assumed a new character, and pre- 
sented difficulties of a different nature from those 
we had hitherto experienced. As we approached 
the shores of the coast, the country became very 
flat and boggy, occasionally overgrown with high 
rushes, and intersected with salt-water creeks. Our 
progress was suddenly checked by our horses 
sinking almost up to their middle in the marsh, 
and we were obliged to dismount among the 
rushes, which served to support us. Our people had 
great difficulty in extricating the horses, which they 
were enabled to effect by laying branches of trees 
on the ground to prevent themselves from sinking 
while they were occupied in the work. Having 
waded through this boggy tract, we succeeded at 
length in reaching the hut of some stock-keepers, 
belonging to Mr. M'Leay. After four days' wan- 
dering in the woods of New South Wales, we hailed 
this poor cabin with sincere satisfaction, though its 
inhabitants, our companions for the night, were 
two wretched outcasts from the mother-country. 
We were much indebted to them, however, for 
their hospitable and attentive behaviour, at a time 
when we were most capable of appreciating it, 
and were so pleased with their civility, that we 
asked them at parting whether we could render them 
any service in return. They with much modesty 
requested us to grant them two favours only, 
both of which were readily complied with. The 

mr Kendall's farm. 459 

first was that we would give them a little tobacco, 
as they had been for some time smoking the leaves 
of the Currajong tree, which are used by the 
aborigines as a substitute for tobacco, being similar 
to it in texture, as well as possessing narcotic proper- 
ties in a minor degree. The other favour was the 
gift of one of our three dogs, to protect their hut 
against the attacks of the natives. 

About noon we made our way through the bush 
to the shore near Jervis Bay ; soon after which we 
passed between two salt-water lakes and the sea. 
We continued our journey, partly along the beach, 
and crossed, a little before sunset, a large and rapid 
tide creek, named Narawalla, at no great distance 
from the sea. A number of natives, whom we 
found on the banks, cautioned us against crossing 
with our horses, and offered to take us over in their 
frail canoes, which we deemed a still more dan- 
gerous plan, and accordingly waited till near dark, 
when the water had abated sufficiently to permit 
our crossing. We proceeded thence to the farm of 
Mr. Kendall, who had sent us a very polite invita- 
tion. This gentleman had resided a long time in 
New Zealand, as a Missionary ; he spoke the lan- 
guage of that country fluently, and had published 
a New Zealand grammar. His property principally 
consists of cedar, which he sends to the Sydney 
market, by a sailing boat. The finest cedar in the 
Colony has been found on the coast ranges, and 
many trees are met with which have fallen from 


age, and when the decayed sap-wood has been re* 
moved, the heart-wood has been found in fine preser- 
vation, from two to five feet in diameter. In all the 
accessible parts, to the south of Sydney, it is fast dis- 
appearing. On leaving Mr. Kendall's farm, we had a 
gradual descent of five miles to the sea, at the end 
of which we reached a snug little harbour for small 
vessels, called by the natives Ulladolla. Four miles 
to the southward we crossed a very deep creek, in 
which the tide was running out so strong, that had 
our horses lost their footing, they must inevitably 
have been carried into the surf. 

In the lakes and along the shore plenty of fish 
are to be had, those in the former, being almost 
entirely a species of fresh water mullet. The 
natives are usually very successful in fishing, in 
their light barks, and when they bring their prey on 
shore, they all assemble round a fire, and eat them 
half dressed from the embers, until they become so 
torpid from satiety, that they lie down and sleep. 
Twelve miles from the creek brought us to Mr. 
Morris" farm, at Mooramoorang. About half a 
mile from this part of the coast, there is a small 
island, where some rabbits had been placed, and 
with which it is now completely over-run. The 
only conveyance . thither was a slight native canoe, 
made out of a single piece of bark ; in which Mr. 
Galbraith ventured over and had some excellent 
sport. He observed many skeletons of rabbits, 
which he supposed had been seized by birds of prey. 


In consequence of an accident that happened to 
Mr. Galbraith's mare, and which induced him to 
remain until she was able to travel, I resolved to 
push on, attended by a native guide. I accordingly 
proceeded on my journey, and travelled nearly six- 
teen miles through scrub, and forest land, until I 
arrived on the banks of the river Clyde, which 
falls into Bateman's Bay. Our course now lay 
parallel with the stream for about five miles, when 
we crossed the river, and resolved on passing the 
night on its right bank. As the rain was falling 
very heavily, we erected a gunyer, or native hut, 
of sticks and bark, which we collected near the 
spot. It was twelve feet long and six in height, and 
with a good fire in front, formed no bad protection 
from the inclemency of the weather. Being erected 
very near to the river, the latter, as it rose with the 
tide, approached so closely as to threaten the ex- 
tinction of our fire; but, happily, it soon after began 
to recede. Numbers of fine fish, attracted by the 
light of our fire, were constantly springing out 
of the water, within a few yards of our hut ; but our 
native guides were too lazy to spear them, which 
they might easily have done by keeping them 
between the fire and a canoe, that they could 
have taken from the beach. So long as the natives 
have enough to serve their present wants, they will 
not give themselves the trouble to increase their 
store, yet, it was rather tantalizing, though not 
actually in want of provisions, to hear a number of 


large fish jumping about as if in defiance of our 

We started the next morning at an early hour ; and 
in passing a creek, the banks of which were rather 
steep, the ground gave way beneath my horse, and 
we were precipitated together into the stream ; I 
did not, however, suffer any material injury from 
the accident. We proceeded this day a distance 
of twenty-five miles, over ground exceedingly 
rough and broken ; and, as I was the only one 
mounted, my companions naturally complained of 
fatigue, and were desirous of resting for the night, 
in which determination I could not refuse to concur, 
though we were led to suppose that a settler's farm 
was to be found at no greater distance than three 
or four miles. We accordingly set about collect- 
ing firewood, as well as sticks and bark for a 
gunyer, after which my native guide rambled into 
the woods, and, from his facility in climbing trees, 
soon returned with a large squirrel, an opossum, 
and several fish, which he threw down before 
the man who was preparing our supper. This will 
shew what these people can do when they choose 
to exert themselves ; for as both the opossum and 
squirrel leap frequently from tree to tree, it requires 
no little agility to capture them. 

Early on the following morning we left our en- 
campment on Nulligan Flats, and passed over a 
mountain of the same name ; its height may be 
imagined from our having taken four hours to 


reach its summit, during which we were often wet 
through, by repeated heavy showers. In descending, 
my horse was attacked by one of the most venomous 
serpents of the country, who raised himself in the 
grass and endeavoured to reach one of the animal's 
legs. He was immediately, however, dispatched 
by my companions. Soon after this, we passed the 
M'Leay River, which falls into Bateman's Bay, and 
is navigable, eight miles from the sea, for boats of 
fifteen tons burden ; a great advantage to Mr. 
Thompson, whose farm is situated only four miles 
from the point of navigation ; as the difficulty of 
passing the coast range renders the conveyance of 
goods to and from Sydney by land quite impracti- 
cable. From Mr. Thompson's I proceeded to the 
farm of Mr. Flannigan, situated near the southern- 
most boundary of the Colony, which terminates on 
the left bank of the Murroo. On my way, I was once 
more wet through in a thunderstorm, to which I 
had been exposed for several days without suffering 
any inconvenience, a fact which lam at a loss, 
whether to attribute to my health being strengthened 
by exposure, or to the peculiar salubrity of the cli- 
mate. Mr. Flannigan had been a fashionable tailor 
in the town of Sydney, where it might be supposed 
he made more of his cabbage than he was likely to 
do in his farm, which was situated at least 200 
miles from Sydney by land. There is a safe cove 
for small vessels about seven miles from the farm, 
but as no vessels come to this harbour, except ex- 


pressly for produce, his profits must be consider- 
ably diminished by the expense of sending his 
goods to market. The distance, also, from any 
township in which there is a bench of magistrates, 
has the effect of rendering his servants quite un- 
manageable. The nearest town, Inverary, is about 
eighty miles distant, so that such of his servants as 
he may send thither are detained from their labour 
for upwards of a week, besides the overseer who 
usually accompanies them. This is one of the evils 
attending the possession of a grant in a remote 

It would seem that the great distance at 
which many of the settlers are from a bench of 
magistrates, is not the sole origin of the insolence 
and misconduct with which the convict-servants 
too often conduct themselves. When the settler 
does put himself to the expense and inconvenience 
of bringing an offender before a magistrate, the 
latter may sentence him to receive a number of 
lashes, but this punishment is frequently exe- 
cuted in such a manner as to negative its in- 
tended effects. If the magistrates were more 
attentive to the administration of punishment, 
it cannot be doubted that there would be less 
occasion for its infliction. So long as the as- 
signed servants are kept under proper control, 
and in fear of a bench of magistrates, they 
perform their tasks well ; but once removed by 
distance, or carelessness in the administration of 


punishment/ from wholesome coercion, they ex- 
hibit the 6ame ungovernable passions for the indul- 
gence of which they were sentenced to exile from 
their native country. To shew that the manner of 
inflicting punishment is often turned into a mere 
jest, I will give the following example : — a man is 
brought before the bench for breaking open his 
master's store, and stealing articles therefrom ; or, 
when he was appointed to watch the sheep, going 
to sleep, and suffering the native dogs to worry, 
disperse, and destroy some of them : for one of these, 
or similar offences, the magistrates sentence him to 
receive a certain number of lashes: but, instead 
of having this punishment inflicted in a proper 
and impressive manner, the offender is sent off to 
some retired spot, with a constable, followed by a 
jailor, or some other person, appointed as a flogger, 
both of them, perhaps, prisoners themselves; and 
it may be easily supposed, that, under such cir- 
cumstances, the punishment becomes a mere matter 
of form, particularly if the culprit can afford to 
bribe the parties. In some cases, the prisoner has 
been seen walking away, laughing and talking with 
the constable and flogger, and, no doubt, in- 
dulging in many a joke at the expense of the in- 
adequate administration of the laws under which 
he Was condemned. In the army and navy, punish- 
ments are attended with great ceremony ; and as 
many of the magistrates are officers in one or other 
of the services, why could not the punishment of 
4 2 h 


prisoners, be conducted in a similarly impressive 
manner. The choice of persons to fill the situation of 
magistrate, is one of the most responsible functions 
of the local Government, and it would be almost as 
well that there should be none at all, than that those 
who are appointed should act in a way calculated 
to bring their authority into contempt. The re- 
spectability, as well as the onerous nature of the 
situation, demands that the magistrate should, at 
least, maintain the dignity which is due to his office. 
In one instance, a magistrate so far forgot him- 
self, as to act as a cattle driver, not merely assist- 
ing in driving his own herd, but one belonging 
to others, through an extent of country far exceed- 
ing 100 miles : associating with the servants who 
accompanied him, as a companion, rather than the 
master; being habited like them in a jacket and 
trowsers of Paramatta cloth, and otherwise con- 
ducting himself without any reference to his station. 
I was assured, by a respectable settler, that such 
was his appearance and conduct that he could not 
introduce him to his family, and the consequence 
was, that he passed the night in the same out- 
building as the servants. From the opportunities 
I have had of making observations on human 
nature, I am convinced that there are few per- 
sons who possess the happy tact of being able to 
associate with their inferiors, and yet continue to 
command the respect that is due to their rank in 


Being anxious to pass the boundary line of the 
Colony, I rose early on the 6th of November, and 
proceeded to the River Murroo, but the tide was 
running so strong, that the horse with difficulty 
advanced against it. On gaining the opposite 
bank, I was obliged to turn back immediately, as 
the tide was running with such rapidity that the 
water was above my knees ; however, I was much 
gratified with having accomplished this favourite in- 
tention. Bidding Mr. Flannigan farewell, I rejoined 
my friends at Mr. Thompson's about sunset. It was 
arranged that we should leave the coast two days 
after, for the purpose of ascending the mountains, 
and as I knew that would be a task of some diffi- 
culty, I proceeded ten miles in advance of my com- 
panions the night previously. I was attended by 
two native guides, and on arriving within a short 
distance of the mountain we prepared our encamp- 
ment for the night, kindled a fire, and hobbling my 
horse, turned him out to graze on the fine pasture 
by which we were surrounded. On rising in the 
morning, I was much mortified to learn that my 
foresight was rendered unavailing, by the horse 
having strayed back to Mr. Thompson's farm. I 
was thus obliged to wait for my companions, who, 
brought him with them about the middle of the day. 
On reaching the summit of the range, which we 
took three hours and a half to accomplish, we found 
the ground very level, with a gentle declivity, for 
nearly twelve miles ; but we were occasionally in- 


commoded by bogs and creeks. We put up for the 
night at a hut occupied by some convict-servants, 
whose respectful attention, and the accommodation 
they afforded us after our fatigues and privations, 
rendered us truly grateful. Here a notorious indi- 
vidual, named Michael Power, also sought refuge 
for the night. He had a herd of cattle with him 
which he was about to drive to Nulligan Flats, 
where he purposed erecting a hut. He was a free 
man, and had on so many occasions testified a 
sneaking likeness fpr other people's cattle, tha the 
was generally called the cattle fancier. Whenever 
any stray cattle come within his reach, he is said 
to secure them immediately, by putting his brand 
upon, them. 

At sunrise we again set out, and proceeded to 
the farm of Captain M'Kellar, about six miles 
distant, from which we pursued our way to the 
abode of Mr. Ryrie, at Arn-Prior, where we 
passed the night. Here I took leave of my friend, 
Mr. Galbraith, to whom I am much indebted for 
his attention to my personal comforts during our 
late journey, in which no exertion or endurance 
was spared on our part, though, unfortunately, 
not attended with the utility which we had antici- 
pated. We subsequently learnt, that many of the 
inconveniences which we suffered, might have been 
avoided, had we taken a northerly course on leaving 
Narriga. The line which we adopted on arriv- 
ing at the creek, at Yerock Flats, was taken in 


direct opposition to the advice of our guides, 
who strongly urged us to follow the ranges in a 
northerly direction ; but one of our party, under 
an erroneous impression, had sufficient influence 
to prevail, and the consequence was, that we com* 
mitted ourselves to an adventure much more ro- 
mantic and perilous than we had any idea of when 
we started on our expedition. Had we taken the 
line recommended by our guides, we should have 
found a comparatively easy, and much shorter road 
to Jervis Bay, instead of being exposed to a 
variety of mishaps and desagriments that cast no 
little gloom over our journey. On the 10th of 
November I left Arn-Prior, on my return to Lum- 
ley; and, after a diversified tour, through the 
wildest, and most civilized districts, I arrived 
safely at Sydney on Christmas Eve. 

During the period I remained in the Austral- 
asian capital, my time was very agreeably varied* 
by short excursions in the immediate neighbour- 
hood ; to Botany Bay, &c. &c. On one of these- 
little journeys, I visited the monument which was> 
erected in 1825, in the name of the French 
people, to the memory of La Pefouse. I had 
already made two trips to Botany Bay, with a view 
to discover where this monument stood, but had 
each time failed. On the third occasion I was 
more fortunate. The route we took was different, 
and carried us for about three miles from the South 
Head road onwards towards Botany Bay, whence 


we continued on the bush track about two miles 
farther, which brought us to the hut of a dis- 
charged veteran soldier, where a woman directed 
us to follow a dray track, leading direct to the mo- 
nument, and thus we easily found the object of our 
search, which is situated about two miles within 
the north point of Botany Bay, and 200 yards from 
the beach. It is a plain pyramidical pillar, of a 
moderate height, with a French inscription on one 
side of the pedestal, translated into English on 
the other, setting forth that that place, which was 
visited by Monsieur de la Perouse, in 1788, was 
the last from whence any accounts of him had 
been received, and that the monument was erected 
in the name of France, by M. M. de Bougainville 
and Ducampier, commanding the frigate La Thetis, 
and the corvette L'Esperance, lying in Port Jack- 
son. The foundation was laid in 1825, and it was 
completed in 1828. 

Not very distant from this place, in a dell, 
surrounded by brushwood, there stands the tomb 
of a French Priest, who died in La Perouses 
ship, marked with a brief and simple inscrip- 
tion recording his death, and that he had ac- 
companied La Perouse in his voyage of cir- 
cumnavigation. Some traveller, who visited this 
spot in 1824, probably an officer of the French 
corvette, Goquille, which was then lying at Port 
Jackson, inscribed the following lines on a gum- 
tree, in reference to the French Priest's tomb. 


fc Pres de cet arbre reposent les restes du O. Le 
Receveur. Visite en Mars 1824." 

About a quarter of a mile from the monument 
there is a small look-out tower, built on a rising 
ground, which is intended to be occupied by a 
Custom-house officer and a boat's crew, to prevent 
smuggling transactions. 

On the south side of Botany Bay, the spot where 
the celebrated Cook first landed on his arrival at 
these shores, there is affixed a brazen tablet against 
a rock, bearing the following inscription. 

" Under the auspices of British Science, these 
shores were discovered a.d. mdcclxx. by James 
Cook and Joseph Banks, the Columbus and Maece- 
nas of their time ; this spot once saw them ardent 
in the pursuit of knowledge. Now to their memory 
this tablet is inscribed, in the first year of the Philo- 
sophical Society of Australasia. Sir Thomas Bris- 
bane, K.C.B., &c, President, a.d., mdcccxxii." 

It does not reflect much credit on the sentiment 
or good taste of the people, that these monuments 
are not more noticed by them. Of fifty respectable 
individuals of whom I inquired on the subject, I 
did not meet one who was aware of the existence of 
the French Priest's tomb, although it might be 
supposed that they would have felt sufficient in- 
terest in the early history of the Colony to induce 
them to explore the shores, and every part of the 
immediate vicinity of Botany Bay ; a name which 
must be for ever associated with that of the immortal 
Cook, and his scientific companions, the celebrated 


Sir Joseph Banks, and Dr. Solander, whose names 
are individually commemorated in different parts 
of this district : the great Navigator's name being 
given to a river that falls into the bay, and those 
of his friends to the two headlands at its entrance. 
I trust that the Colonists will, one day or another, 
erect a solid monument, worthy of the memory 
of the man who discovered the land which they 
inhabit, and rescue themselves from the imputation 
of insensibility, or indifference to a subject that 
claims their most anxious regard. 

There have been so many works, of a practical 
and scientific nature, published on the subject of 
the soil and climate of New South Wales, that any 
observations of mine would be justly considered 
superfluous. I believe the chief peculiarities of 
both are now very well understood by all classes to 
whom such information can be productive of any 
utility ; a few general remarks, therefore, are all 
that will be required at my hands. 

The eastern coast of Australasia is guarded by a 
chain of hills, between which and the sea there is a 
zone of land, averaging about fifty miles in breadth. 
In some places on these ranges the hills rise to a 
height of between two and three thousand feet, 
and as they are broken by interruptions that form 
deep gullies and chasms, the traveller s path across, 
in consequence of the winding and circuitous 
course he is compelled to take, in order to avoid 
these yawning spaces, is not less than fifty miles, 


although the direct line, if it could betaken, would 
scarcely exceed thirty. This barrier consists of 
sandstone, freestone, and porphyry; presenting 
occasional patches of grass, and stunted timber of 
the gum species. There is just sufficient moisture 
and vegetation throughout the range to afford sus- 
tenance to animals proceeding to or from the inte- 
rior. For several miles beyond the range, the 
character of the soil is sandy, and bears an herbage 
of scanty growth and inferior quality. Advancing 
onwards towards Bathurst, the soil improves but 
very slightly, while the surface takes a more un- 
dulating and diversified aspect ; but on arriving 
near the Macqiiarie river and the settlement in that 
quarter, a vast change is perceptible. The soil here 
is a rich friable loam, affording ample pasturage to 
numberless flocks and herds, while the river flowing 
through the fertile and open country, where there 
is but little wood to waste the resources of the earth, 
presents a luxuriant picture, which is very grati- 
fying after the poor tracks through which this pros- 
perous settlement is reached. 

In that part of the occupied country which lies 
between the Blue Mountains and the sea, granite, 
porphyry, and sandstone prevail, with the excep- 
tion of the land south-w^est of Sydney, which 
consists for the most part of unproductive clays. 
It is to be remarked generally, of New South 
Wales, that nature has provided principles of 
fertility, exactly thie reverse of those which ob- 


serration has discovered to regulate the vegetable 
world in Europe. Here we find that the soil at the 
mouths of rivers is usually of the richest descrip- 
tion ; while in New South Wales, the country at 
such points, and for a considerable distance beyond, 
is generally low, sandy, marshy, and of the poorest 
and most unproductive kind. The same observa- 
tion will apply to the gradation of vegetable fer- 
tility on the hills. In England, fertility diminishes 
as we ascend the height, but in New South Wales, 
the summit is the most luxuriant part, exhibiting 
crops of the sweetest, and most flourishing herbage. 
It is to be remarked also, that a few miles from 
those points in the rivers where the influence of the 
salt water terminates, the small hills, and the land 
generally, in the neighbourhood, exhibit some of 
the richest soil in the country. But the soil every 
where fluctuates, and great irregularities are per- 
ceptible, for which it has been found difficult to 
assign any satisfactory reason. Mr. Dawson's 
book on Australasia, which I have cousulted, 
appears to me to furnish on the whole the clearest 
and most correct account I have met with amongst 
the numerous works that profess to enter elabo- 
rately into the subject. 

During my residence in New South Wales, I 
was thrown very much amongst the aborigines, 
about whom so many contradictory descriptions 
have been written, and as, in the course of my 
rambles, I passed from tribe to tribe, my opportu- 


nities of arriving at some conclusions respecting 
their character, and the possibility of civilizing 
them, were at least sufficiently numerous. It ap- 
peared to me that they have, on the whole, been 
misrepresented. I do not think they deserve to be 
classed as the last link in the long chain of hu- 
manity, because they are certainly far superior in 
intelligence to the aborigines of Van Diemen's 
Land. True it is, they have no idea of a Supreme 
Being, nor do they seem to be grateful for any 
efforts that are made to reclaim them from their 
savage habits; but they still appear to possess 
tractable qualities, which, if properly educated, 
might yet render them capable of taking a more 
elevated place in the scale of mankind. They are 
very indifferent to all the resources and comforts of 
civilized life. They seldom care to erect regular 
gunyers ; but are content to lie down to rest any 
where, generally near some stream, or water-hole, 
where they light their fires. If it should happen to 
rain, or if a cold wind arise, they seek shelter in 
the caves, or under the largest trees. They seem 
to make no distinctions in the description of food 
they use : rats and serpents, grubs and kangaroos, 
are to them quite as acceptable as the most delicate 
flesh. All they desire is to satisfy the cravings of 
hunger. The animal nature is paramount through- 
out. They are perfectly indifferent to the acqui- 
sition of knowledge of any kind, and do not care, 
even, when opportunities are offered to them, to 


cultivate the useful and mechanical arts by which 
they could so considerably improve their situation. 
Their ideas do not seem to extend beyond the 
common labours of drawing water, cutting wood, 
and looking after cattle ; nor have they any affec- 
tion for particular places or persons, but on the 
qontrary seem to become uneasy if they remain 
long in any one place, or with any particular 
persons; although each tribe has a certain dis- 
trict in which its families principally reside, when 
they pause in the midst of their wanderings. A 
strong instance of their tenacious clinging to their 
ancient habits is given in the case of Benelong, the 
first native who was introduced to the table of the 
first Governor of New South Wales. When Go- 
vernor Phillip returned to England in 1792, he took 
Benelong with him, but after residing three years 
in London, he returned to the Colony with Governor 
punter. For some time he continued to wear the 
Windsor uniform, and to frequent the Governor's 
table, but at last, growing wearied of the formali- 
ties of civilized life, he threw off his European 
dress, and plunging once more into the bush, he 
spldoan appeared again amongst the English resi- 
dents, and then only to indulge in a debauch. 

It is asserted that there are no appointed chiefs at 
the head of the tribes and, that, if there be any 
form of government amongst them, it is a rude sort 
qf democracy, where a few of the elder and some 
of the more active and intelligent men hare, by* 


common consent and acquiescence, the control of 
the whole. When we first took possession of the 
Colony, however, there were two tribes, called the 
Botany Bay, and Sydney tribes, that recognised 
something like the monarchical principle in their 
government ; for they were separately ruled by a 
chief, who was acknowledged by them as sovereign* 
Bungaree, the last chief of the Sydney tribe, a 
good-natured and rather intelligent man, resided 
on the north side of Sydney Harbour, in a palace 
about five feet square. He received no regular 
revenue from his subjects, but scorning to beg, the 
last resource of mendicity, he emulated the ex- 
ample of more polished society, and levied contri- 
butions from his friends in the shape of loans, 
which he never repaid, for the support of hiihself 
and his suite. A short time before his death he ' 
was conveyed, by order of the Governor, to the 
General Hospital, where suitable attention was paid 
to the last representative of the royalty of the sable 
race of Sydney ; but his Majesty feeling his dig- 
nity, perhaps, compromised by his position, was, 
at the earnest entreaty of his subjects* removed to 
the house of the Rev. Mr. Therry, a Roman 
Catholic clergyman. There he was treated with 
the greatest care and kindness ; but his friends 
taking advantage of the absence of his host, carried 
him off to a place in the neighbourhood of Eliza* 
beth Bay, where the royal patient expired. He be- 
queathed his dominions to his eldest son, but de- 


bauchery and debased habits sunk the pretensions 
of the heir-apparent, and by this time the last trace 
of the royal line has probably passed away for ever. 

The names of the natives are taken from the 
animals, or other natural productions, by which 
they are surrounded : but they exhibit consider- 
able pleasure when their European friends give 
them new, and, to them, unaccustomed titles. It 
is a peculiarity amongst them that when any one 
member of a tribe dies, all the rest of the same 
name immediately change it, and it is never after 
allowed to be mentioned. Another peculiarity is 
in the mode of testifying their mourning for the 
deceased. They daub and plaster their heads and 
bodies over with white earth, and scarify their 
heads until the blood trickles down their faces, 
which, as they permit it to dry on the surface, 
gives them a very strange and hideous appear- 
ance. The men invariably wear their hair long, 
while that of the women is cut short : thus reversing 
the fashion of Europe. 

I was informed by Mr. Yeoman, of Maitland, 
that he had observed the natives on Liverpool 
Plains make use of a sort of telegraph, by means of 
columns of smoke, which they produced from their 
fires, by placing over them a long piece of bark 
through which the smoke ascended as through a 
funnel. The frequency of the repetition, and the 
length of time each was continued, appeared to re- 
gulate the intelligence conveyed by the telegraph. 


Great diversity of opinion prevails respecting the 
first occupants of New Holland, but, after investi- 
gating all the statements I have heard and read 
respecting them, I have come to this conclusion, 
that it is most probable the island, or continent, 
was originally peopled in the n. w. by Malays 
from the eastern islands, and in the n. e. by 
negroes from New Guinea; and that the latter 
preceded the former, but from the inferiority of 
their numbers were driven from place to place 
until they reached the southern extremity, from 
whence they fled to the islands in Bass's Straits, 
and ultimately to Van Diemen's Land. This is 
the only way I can account for the inhabitants 
of that island being woolly-haired, with a negro 
cast of countenance, while those of New South 
Wales have universally long black hair, with Malay 

The language of the aborigines has some pecu- 
liarities, which bear a strong affinity to the Rus- 
sian, as it is described in the article Philology, in 
the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Mr. Threlkeld 
told me that it has two nominative cases, or a 
nominative and an instrumental case. The declen- 
sion of the nouns are seven or eight, governed by the 
last syllables of the nouns and not by gender. Ad- 
jectives are under the same regimen. Nouns and 
pronouns have the nominative, the instrumental, 
the genitive, the dative, the accusative, the voca- 
tive, and the ablative, which last never expresses 


instrumentality : having no passive verb, necessa- 
rily creates the instrumental one, " Me is beat" 
would be the expression for J am beaten ; and " it 
was he who beat me" would be the equivalent for / 
was beaten by him : the phrase " it is he who" being 
expressed with the relative who, &c. &c. 

The women, as we usually find them in savage 
life, are the slaves rather than the companions of 
the men ; and amongst those tribes that are not 
acquainted with whites, the females are kept com- 
pletely out of sight, as they are by the inhabitants 
of the South Sea Islands. The natives are greatly 
terrified by the sight of a person in a mask, calling 
him " devil" or Yah-hoo, which signifies g evil 
spirit:' and they are, like most uneducated people, 
greatly afraid of death. In their intercourse with 
the whites — I speak chiefly of the demi -civilized — 
they appear in general to be free from all restraint, 
and much good feeling subsists between both par- 
ties, the natives visiting the huts unceremoniously, 
and waiting till they are dismissed with food. If 
it were not for the illicit intercourse which is main- 
tained by the whites with the native women, there 
would be but little ground for censure or animad- 
version, with the exception of the petty thefts 
which the blacks commit in the locations of the 
settlers, the natural and inevitable consequence of 
being brought into a communion, which, affording 
them but a scanty subsistence procured by beg- 
ging, exposes them to all the vices of civilization, 


without any of its benefits. In this intercourse the 
natives are certainly the sufferers, as they acquire 
habits of laziness that unfit them for the fatigues of 
their forest life ; and they become, by degrees, 
enervated and dispirited. It is to be observed 
also, that the class of persons with whom they are 
thus brought into association, are amongst the most 
depraved of the white population. 

The natives are very useful in giving information 
to the mounted Police concerning the bush-rangers, 
whom they call croppies. They also frequently 
go out with exploring parties to track them, re- 
ceiving, as rewards for their services, old clothes, 
pipes, blankets, and tobacco ; besides being fed on 
the way. Their acuteness in tracking the foot- 
steps of both men and wild animals in the bush is 
very remarkable ; for instance, in the former case, 
they have pointed out the spots where bush- 
rangers have taken off their shoes, and even where 
they have passed over bare rocks with their naked 
feet ; distinguishing the foot-prints by particles of 
dust that were imperceptible to the eyes of Euro- 
peans. In tracing them across a stream, where 
the bush-rangers have endeavoured to mislead and 
deceive their pursuers, by going some distance up 
or down before they left the water, the natives 
carefully track the banks on each side, until they 
discover the place where the run-aways came out. 

Amongst a people with such evident capabilities 
of improvement, and who, by a judicious system of 

4 2i 


management, might easily be reduced within the 
pale of colonial utility, it must be admitted, even 
by those who do not favour the principles of 
emigration upon a large scale, that colonization 
could be conducted with great advantages, not only 
to the natives of New Holland, but to those Euro- 
peans whose fortunes lead them from their native 
country into distant speculations of this description. 
We have already seen that New South Wales, al- 
though its soil varies in fertility, and presents 
alternations of luxuriance and barrenness, is yet in 
some places exceedingly productive ; and enough 
has been shewn in the different publications that 
have issued from the press on this interesting sub- 
ject, to prove that it is susceptible of yielding flat- 
tering results to the hand of industry. But I am 
far from recommending on this account that any 
one, dissatisfied with his own country, should risk 
his prospects in a venture, the success of which 
depends quite as much on his own energies, as it 
does upon the resources of the country in which be 
chooses to make the serious experiment of a new 
life. It should never be forgotten, that the most 
fertile land blossoms in vain for idleness and inca- 
pacity; and that the lavish bounties of Nature, 
however rich and inexhaustible, are as seed cast 
upon the winds, if man does not bring to them all 
the agencies of knowledge, skill, activity, and pru- 
dence. This is really the source of half the evils 
thai Have hitherto attended emigration ; and when 


the disappointed settler in Canada, or Australasia, 
complained bitterly of the disasters that turned 
his smiling hopes into tears of withering despair, 
he too often forgot also to state how much the 
weeds that sprung up in the track of his plough- 
share were encouraged by the want of thrift, ex- 
perience, and foresight in himself. 

There are three main elements which enter into 
the question, and which ought never to be lost 
sight of by the emigrant, or by those who, at any 
period, contemplate taking a share in the labours 
of colonization. The first is the fitness of the settler 
to undertake the arduous task that lies before him ; 
the second, the means of meeting all its unavoid- 
able demands ; and the third, the choice of a good 

Of the first, it is hardly necessary to observe, 
that it is essential to the emigrant that he should 
thoroughly understand the principles of agricul- 
ture ; that he should be well acquainted with all 
the arts that can be employed in the recovery of 
worked lands, and in the deriving from available 
soils, the utmost possible profit at the smallest pos- 
sible outlay : that he should, also, inform himself 
accurately upon the character of the surface on 
which he proposes to settle ; the influence of the 
climate upon productions ; and the description of 
culture that is likely to be most successful, and most 
marketable ; that his previous habits should garti- 
cularly adapt him for the toils of his undertaking ; 


that he should be physically strong, and of a bold 
and enduring constitution ; and, above all, that 
his mind should be elastic, capable of patient sub- 
mission to whatever circumstances may arise, and 
not easily turned aside by sudden reverses, or un- 
expected misfortunes. These requisites are fre- 
quently overlooked; and hence it is that many 
men, who never should have attempted the trying 
ordeal, are found to murmur, when they discover 
the dark forest, and the remote ' prairie', do not 
yield the glories of an ' £1 Dorado/ 

The second element is capital. What can the 
emigrant — I confine myself, of course, to the class 
of farmers — expect to reap from any agricultural 
speculation, especially when there are confessedly 
great difficulties to be overcome, without means ? 
A farmer who emigrates with a very small sum, 
and who anticipates that it will become converted 
into a fortune when he reaches his destination, will 
find, to his sorrow, that, like the apple on the 
Dead Sea shore, it will too often turn to ashes in- 
stead of gold. Of course, the capital requisite for 
the emigrant, must be governed by the expecta- 
tions to which his views are directed ; but it may 
be assumed as a general rule, that a farmer who 
emigrates in the hope of acquiring a moderate in- 
dependence in the course of years, and after some 
years, too, of privation and hardship, ought, at 
least, to be provided with a clear sum of between 
5001 and 1000Z. 


The importance of a location is so obvious, and 
has been, unfortunately, so clearly demonstrated 
in the case of the first settlers at Swan River, — 
who, by the way, owe as much of their misfortunes 
to their own thoughtlessness, as to any other cause 
— that it is needless to enlarge upon the necessity 
of making the most accurate and careful inquiries, 
not only as to the actual character of the chosen 
spot, but of that of its immediate neighbourhood ; 
its means of communication with other districts ; 
and its position, in reference to the ultimate market 
to which its produce is to be conveyed. These are 
points which all experience has shewn to be so 
essential, that, were it not necessary to allude to 
them, in order to make any remarks upon emigra- 
tion complete, it would not be needful to press 
them upon attention. If emigration be carried 
forward with a strict reference to these elementary 
conditions, it can hardly fail to reward, to a very 
great extent, the pains and penalties that are at- 
tached to it, even under the most prosperous cir- 
cumstances; but, if it be not, then the miseries 
that follow, are fairly chargeable upon the folly 
and false ambition of the emigrant himself. 


Departure for England— New Zealand — Description of the Island- 
Habits of the Natives— Passing the Meridian — Frolics of a 
Whale— Ice-islands — Doubling Cape Horn — Bahia — Dr. and 
Mrs. Dundas — Flores — A Party visit the Island — Ship disap- 
pears — Consternation and Disappointment occasioned thereby— 
Re-appearance of the Ship — Party embark — A brief Account of 
the Inhabitants of Flores and Corvo — Authors pecuniary ar- 
rangements— Arrival in England— L'Envoi. 

After a residence in Sydney, which I shall 
always look back upon with pleasure, and having 
visited, as I have indicated in the preceding chapter, 
all the points of interest in the country, I took leave 
of my friends there on the 30th of March, 1832, and 
sailed for England in the Strathfieldsaye, passing 
round the north-end of New Zealand on the 9th of 
April, and taking our departure from the East 
Cape on the 12th of April. 

Aware of the interest which all the accounts of the 
New Zealanders that have been hitherto published 
have excited, and being also d esirous to satisfy my own 
mind on the disputed question, whether the savages 
of that island are really cannibals, as most tra- 
vellers have represented them to be, or merely cruel 
pirates whose deeds of blood earned them a worse 
character than they really deserved, I availed myself 


of every opportunity that offered, while in New South 
Wales, for making inquiries on the subject, amongst 
such of my friends as possessed the means of af- 
fording conclusive testimony to the facts, and I 
am happy to be enabled to lay before my readers 
a short sketch of the island and its inhabitants, 
which I have drawn up from rough notes that were 
furnished to me by a gentleman who commanded a 
vessel belonging to Sydney, and who collected the 
substance of the following information, while he 
was trading amongst the natives in different parts 
of the island. 

" New Zealand is in general mountainous, and 
thickly wooded ; the soil, on the declivities of the 
hills, being composed of strong loam mixed with 
stones, in which the natives plant their potatoes in 
the month of October. The low lands and banks 
of the river are covered with flax, and a species of 
wild cabbage and turnip are met with in the 
valleys, which abound with fresh water. The only 
fruit I have seen is the Ga-ga-ya, or Bamboo fruit, 
the flavour of which is delicious. The natives are 
an exceedingly fine race of men, and, if properly 
fed, would, I have no doubt, be the largest and 
best made men in the world. The mountainous 
nature of the country obliges them to divide them- 
selves into small settlements, which lie scattered 
along the coasts, and on the side of every stream 
low huts are erected. Their districts contain from 
200 to 1000 persons, under the advice rather than 


the control of a chief, and in time of war they 
unite under the authority of the three principal 
chiefs Echo, Robulla, and Tune (wild man). Echo 
is the first in rank. He is the son of the late chief 
Pay-he, who had visited England, France, America, 
and New South Wales, and endeavoured to pro- 
mote a friendly intercourse between his people and 
strangers. Echo's personal appearance is very 
prepossessing ; he is tall and well made, of a grace- 
ful carriage, has the finest face I think I ever saw, 
and his hair which curls gracefully over his shoul- 
ders is ornamented with a single feather which pro- 
claims his rank. His mind, however, is of another 
complexion, cowardice, cunning, cruelty, and 
treachery being its principal characteristics. He 
visits every strange vessel that arrives, for the pur- 
pose of stealing whatever he can lay his hands on, 
in which object he is so ably assisted, that a vessel 
has scarcely been an hour at anchor, before she is 
stripped of almost every moveable article. The 
language of the eyes is, with much adroitness, made 
an auxiliary in their nefarious proceedings. 

" Robulla differs in little from Echo, save the 
possession of superior courage. 

"Tune is completely the wild savage; undis- 
guised and cruel, he delights in human flesh, but 
is not addicted to thieving. The New Zealand 
chiefs frequently visit Sydney, notwithstanding 
which the example of civilized society makes 
but little impression on them. 


" In the year 1828, Pay-he and Robulla pro- 
ceeded with a force of 600 men, to attack their 
countrymen in Blind Bay, who had savagely mur- 
dered the captain and seven sailors belonging to 
the schooner Samuel, of Sydney. Three of the 
latter only had escaped, the rest were devoured by 
their murderers. Pay-he exterminated all the 
natives he could find at Blind Bay, and returned to 
Entry Island, but soon after repaired to Queen 
Charlotte's Sound, for the purpose of revenging the 
death of the Warspite's crew which had taken place 
in a similar manner. On his way, he fell in with 
Myranue, chief of the Middle Isle, but refrained 
from injuring him or his people, as he had given 
shelter to foreign ships and white men. He re- 
mained with him a few days for the purpose of 
traffic, however he fell a victim to his treachery 
at an entertainment given by him. Thus perished 
Pay-he, the most faithful advocate for intercourse 
with the whites. Soon after my arrival at 
Entry Island, Robulla requested me to carry him- 
self and twenty warriors to Banks' Island to get 
Myranue into their power, and if successful, he 
promised to load my vessel twice with flax, without 
any charge. Not being willing to place so much 
authority in his hands as his embarking so many 
followers would give him, I offered to take him and 
two of his best men to Banks' Island, a proposition 
which he did not think proper to accept. He en- 
tered into an agreement, however, with Captain 


Stewart, of the brig Elizabeth, in which he left 
Entry Island on the 29th of October, 1830, with 
the chief Echo, and a retinue of 120 men. On the 
arrival of the Elizabeth at Wangaroo, or Banks' 
Harbour, the natives all remained below, and 
several canoes came off to the ship, but returned on 
finding her armed with guns. Myranue did not 
venture on board for some days ; but gave the 
trading-master to understand that two double- 
barrelled guns must be paid for permission to 
anchor and trade, adding, that there was "no 
gammon" in him, an expression which the natives 
have acquired from the English run-away convicts. 
A man was accordingly sent on shore with the ar- 
ticles demanded, when Myranue came on board, 
upon which Echo sprang on deck, and seizing him 
by the hair of his head, exclaimed, " Myranue, 
you are my slave !" He was instantly secured, 
and Echo landed in the night with twenty-five 
men, another chief disembarking at the same time 
with his followers on the opposite side of the bay. 
They met towards morning near the centre of the 
bay, having put to death all who had come in their 
way, and burned the huts of the settlement as they 
passed along. Morning brought with it a dreadful 
spectacle ; the bodies of men, women, and children 
scattered on the sand, bathed in blood, and many 
of them mangled and prepared for the steam-oven. 
The following day was passed in cutting up and 
cooking the bodies of their victims, which were 

echo's feast. 491 

destined as provisions during the voyage to Entry- 
Island. The heads, which they invariably carry 
with them to battle, are preserved by baking on 
hot stones, the internal portion having first been re- 
moved ; the application of oil from time to time, pre- 
serves their natural appearance, and prevents decay. 
" On the 1 lth of November the Elizabeth re- 
turned, with Myranue, his wife, and fifty prison- 
ers. When the warriors landed after this successful 
expedition, I was much surprised to find but little 
expression of satisfaction or welcoming from the 
rest of the natives. On the arrival of Echo at his 
settlement he was surrounded by his followers, who 
commenced a war dance, which consisted in jumping 
as high as they were able, and making a hideous 
noise, holding up at the same time their instru- 
ments of war, and the heads of their enemies. 
Their naked copper-coloured bodies, tattooed faces, 
and long matted hair, gave them a horrid appear- 
ance. After a sham fight they dispersed in troops 
to their respective settlements. A feast was im- 
mediately prepared by Echo, consisting of 100 
baskets of potatoes, cumoras, and greens ; about 
four hundred weight of whale-oil, some pieces of 
blubber, and several baskets of human flesh, which 
they had brought ashore from the Elizabeth. An 
old grey-headed man, a relation of Myranue's, was 
to be killed and eaten at this banquet. I found 
him sitting in the midst of the women, who were 
using every means to torment him, pulling out the 


hairs of his head and beard by the roots, and ac- 
cusing him of having killed and eaten their former 
chief Pay-he. " Now we will drink your blood 
and eat your flesh/' said one of these delicate crea- 
tures ; I endeavoured in vain to avert his fate ; he 
was sent away with some other prisoners to be 
slaughtered. I found a boy, about five years of 
age, who was also related to M yranue, in the pos- 
session of Tune ; he too was to be sacrificed. I 
went in search of Echo, in hopes of obtaining his 
influence in my attempt to save him. Tune fol- 
lowed, and offered to give him up for a cask of 
powder, but I at length obtained him in exchange 
for a musket, and have ever since had him under 
my protection. 

" The instances of native barbarity which came 
under my notice were numerous. My attention 
was one day attracted by two lads, about seven- 
teen years of age, one armed with a small axe, 
and the other with a gun with a fixed bayonet. 
They said they were in pursuit of two female 
slaves who had absented themselves, and on 
my asking them what it was their intention to do 
with them when found, their reply was, "Kill 
them, to be sure." I endeavoured to reason with 
them on the cruelty of such a punishment for so 
trifling an offence, but to no purpose. I then told 
them that if they produced the slaves alive and 
well, and would desist from punishing them, I 
would give them more than they were worth. 


This was agreed to, and they were accordingly 
produced the next day ; when a canister of powder, 
a few fish-hooks, and some tobacco, settled the affair. 
" The New Zealanders believe in a God, a devil 
and a ghost. In 1829 they were greatly alarmed 
respecting their God (Tananana) whom one of them 
said he saw flying over Caffara towards Cape 
Egremont, to which place it is now believed that 
he has removed from his ancient residence at the 
North Cape. They have priests, whose duty it is 
to predict for them, like the augurs of the Romans. 
They are supposed to possess the power of charming 
and cursing whom they please ; and the natives are 
so superstitious that they seldom survive their 
anathemas. I one day saw a girl whom they call 
a witch, and who, they say, can charm to death. 
She is certainly in one respect calculated to charm, 
being by far the finest girl I have seen in New 
Zealand. A wife, immediately after marriage is 
tabooed or made sacred, from which time her in- 
constancy is either punished by death, or other- 
wise, according to the option of her husband. A 
man may also taboo his house and property, which 
enables him to take the life of a trespasser. 
Their manner of disposing of the dead varies ac- 
cording to their station. The poorest classes are 
always'burnt; the slaves are either thrown on the 
beach for the dogs, or deposited in a cave or under 
a rock. The remains of children are placed in a 
trough and covered with mats ; the trough is fixed 


on the top of a post, about six feet high, near the 
hut, on which it remains until its contents moulder 
away. The body of a chief is placed in an upright 
piece of timber, hollowed out for the purpose and 
painted with red earth. It is invariably stationed 
near his late residence, which is tabooed, never to 
be entered again. The female relatives meet peri- 
odically at the tomb, and amidst the most hideous 
lamentations they inflict wounds on various parts 
of their bodies, with pieces of shell, glass, or fishes' 
teeth. There is not a woman in New Zealand who 
is not scarred in the face, arms, and body; these 
wounds being often inflicted for joy as well as grief. 
The women frequently exchange their children, 
and nurse those which they adopt with great care. 
They are also often seen to suckle puppies and 
young seals. " 

I am free to admit that this account of the habits 
of the New Zealanders is so revolting as to appear 
incredible. We, who live under just laws, who 
enjoy the advantages of paternal and protective 
legislation, who hold the domestic affections sacred, 
and in whom the noblest attributes of the intellec- 
tual nature are sedulously cultivated by a rigid 
system of practical education, can hardly conceive 
that there should exist even in the remotest dens 
of savage life, a race of human beings capable of the 
horrors which I have here related. Yet incredulous 
as we may be, and unwilling to believe in the ex- 
istence of such atrocities, they are nevertheless 


true. The gentleman from whom I derived my 
information confirmed, in many conversations, 
and by reference to several living witnesses, the 
accuracy of a statement, which, if the interests of 
civilization were not concerned in its publication, 
I would gladly omit from the pages of my travels. 
On the following day, after losing sight of New 
Zealand, we passed the meridian of 180° of East 
Longitude from Greenwich, and were conse- 
quently within twelve hours of Greenwich time in 
the Western Hemisphere. It appears to me that 
the proper time for changing the day in circum- 
navigating the globe, is that on which the meri- 
dian is passed from either side, a rule which if it 
were correctly observed by all captains of ves- 
sels, would be productive of the most useful re- 
sults, by saving much of the confusion that so 
often arises from a variance in the notation of time. 
We had a great deal of discussion on board the 
Strathfieldsaye on this point, the Captain not 
wishing to change the day until he had reached 
some port, for which obstinate resolution he could 
not assign any better reason than that he had 
always done so on his former voyages. It was in 
vain to point out to him that every vessel we should 
meet with, coming from the eastward, would be 
keeping Greenwich time, and would consequently 
exhibit a difference in its log-book from us : besides 
that such an error might prove of serious import- 
ance in any point of law. A remarkable illustra- 


tion of the confusion produced by a similar course 
of error .is mentioned by Messrs. Tyerman and 
Bennet, in their journal at the Society Islands, 
in consequence of the captain of the first missionary 
ship, who passed round the Cape of Good Hope, 
whereby he gained a day, not making any change 
when crossing the meridian. Messrs. Tyerman 
and Bennet say, they " went to rest on Friday 
night, and did not awake until Sunday morning, 
although the interval for sleep did not exceed the 
usual term of repose." 

Our homeward voyage was not marked by any 
incidents worth recording, with the exception of a 
curious one that occurred on the evening of the 6th 
of May, when we discovered a large black whale 
close under the lee side of the ship ; so close, indeed, 
that there was no doubt but that part of the fish 
was in actual contact with the bottom of the vessel, 
the principal dorsal fin being nearly within reach 
of a person in the main channels. The officers of 
the ship were not a little uneasy about the rudder, 
which the whale frequently struck with his tail, as 
well as the counter of the ship. Had he broken 
the rudder our situation would have been rendered 
exceedingly perilous, but fortunately he appeared 
to be in a very playful humour, as he left us several 
times, swam off a short distance, and returned 
again, until a few musket balls were lodged in his 
huge body, when he suddenly disappeared alto- 


On the 27th of April, in Lat. 54° £ s. we passed 
several floating islands of ice, and on the 14th of 
May doubled Cape Horn. This was formerly 
considered a very wonderful undertaking, and 
even, at the present time, is not destitute of interest, 
I might, perhaps, add danger, for like the southern 
extremity of the African Continent, it cannot be 
passed at any season of the year without the chance 
of experiencing one of those awful storms that are 
peculiar to their respective positions, and to which 
even the oldest sailors used to look forward with 
apprehension. Experience, however, and observa- 
tion have made us better acquainted with the 
prevailing winds and currents in those stormy 
latitudes, while the superior equipment of modern 
vessels, and our great advancement in the science 
of navigation, both from practical and theoretical 
knowledge, enables us now to make the voyage 
round the extreme points of these continents with 
comparative ease and security. 

We were now ten weeks on our passage, and it 
was a little remarkable that throughout the whole 
of that time we never saw a sail upon the wide 
expanse of sea. The first vessel we spoke was the 
American ship, St. Peter, on the 7th June, fifty- 
seven days from New Norfolk, U. S. bound to 

On the 15th of June we cast anchor in the 
harbour of Bahia. This place, which is important 
to the Brazils on account of the great extent of its 

4 2 k 


trade, is one of the most celebrated ports in South 
America, for carrying on the slave trade with the 
coast of Africa. We visited the town immediately 
after our arrival, and were struck with its size, 
which is very considerable, embracing two parts, 
the higher and lower, the latter of which is more 
remarkable for noise, dirt, and confusion, than for 
cleanliness and order. The street, called Constitu- 
tion Hill, is so steep and irregular that it is inac- 
cessible to carriages, but the pedestrian, who will 
speedily become wearied by the fatigue of traversing 
the crowded and filthy avenues of this Babylon of 
the New World, will find a cheap relief in the chairs 
which are in use here, if he do not object to being 
carried about from place to place by two stout 
negroes, in a machine that is not of the most elegant 
construction. We found the population in a state 
of great excitement, arising from the political events 
that were then going forward at Rio de Janeiro. 
The people were divided between their attachment 
to the old Government, and the desire to achieve 
their independence. They were separated into two 
parties, which might be designated the Monarchical, 
consisting of all those who wished to maintain the 
connection with the Brazilian government, under 
which the prosperity of the province had hitherto 
progressed with such rapidity; and the Democratic, 
which was, of course, composed of all those who, 
having nothing to lose, were naturally desirous of 
any convulsion which, in the chapter of accidents, 


might turn up advantageous for themselves. This 
latter party was numerically the stronger, counting 
under its banners all the free people of colour, and 
all the slaves, who naturally fostered the principles 
of revolution in the hope of securing something in 
the confusion. 

During the few days we remained at Bahia, I 
visited the opera, which was entirely performed by 
blacks, with the exception of the Prima Donna, 
who was an actress that had already passed the 
grand climacteric of her powers. The whole per- 
formance, including that of the orchestra, was as 
indifferent as ever a critic, accustomed to La Scala 
itself, could well imagine it to have been. 

A circumstance occurred while I was here, which 
was to me of much greater interest than either the 
politics or the trade of Bahia, and which, I am con- 
fident, will be equally interesting to such of my 
readers as may recollect the details of my visit to 
St. Jago, related in the first volume of these 
travels. After I left St. Jago, it will be remem- 
bered, that both the Consul and his wife were car- 
rid off by fever, leaving the sister of the former, an 
amiable and accomplished lady, dangerously ill of 
the same disease, and attended only by such of the 
Portuguese as were humane enough to feel any 
commiseration for her situation. After a severe 
struggle with her illness, she, at length, happily 
recovered, and, embarking in a small French 
schooner, she was obliged to make a voyage to 


Bahia, in the hope of procuring from tbence a pas- 
sage to England. She wag still in a very delicate 
state of health, which was not improved by her 
voyage, and on reaching Bahia, she found herself 
so ill that she- was obliged to call in medical aid. 
Fortunately for her, as well as the . English resi- 
dents at that place, Dr. Dtindas, a very skilful and 
gentlemanly man, had settled there as a medical 
practitioner, and his services were, upon this in- 
teresting occasion, of the utmost benefit to the fair 
invalid. During his professional attendance upon 
the lady, however, he became so charmed with her 
intellectual and personal attractions, that, when 
her health was re-established, and she was prepar- 
ing for her departure, he found it impossible to 
tear himself from her presence. The influence of 
her society was irresistible ; and, as she was on the 
eve of taking leave of Bahia, he solicited her hand 
in marriage. The delicacy and constancy of his 
attentions to her, it may be presumed, made a 
strong impression on her feelings, and his pro- 
posals were accordingly received with favour. She 
consented to reward his devotion with that happi- 
ness which it was in her power alone to confer, 
and, after the preliminaries were arranged, it was 
finally determined that she should proceed to Eng- 
land in the packet, and that he should rejoin her 
as soon as his affairs would permit. In the mean 
time, he sent to England for a medical man to come 
out and take his practice, until it was convenient 


for him to return with his bride. It was some time 
after these incidents had occurred, that I was most 
agreeably surprised to meet them both in Bahia, 
with an infant daughter, and in the full enjoyment 
of the most perfect domestic happiness. The hours 
I spent with them during my short stay in that part 
of the world, I reckon amongst the pleasantest in 
my life ; for they presented to me a picture of 
such complete felicity, attained after scenes of 
the most trying calamity, as to appear, at this 
distance of time, more like a dream than a story of 
real life. 

We left Bahia on the 21st of June, and arrived 
at Flores on the 13th of August. The Captain of 
our vessel did not anchor, for the double reason of 
saving trouble, and escaping from the payment of 
the port dues ; but he afterwards discovered that 
the authorities at Santa Cruz had made a re- 
gulation which rendered this precaution useless, 
and by which they would not permit any vessel to 
receive a supply of provisions, which, in our case 
was absolutely necessary, until the port dues had 
first been discharged. Greatly to the Captain's 
mortification, also, he found that, because he had 
come from a port south of the equinoctial line, he 
had to pay double the amount of those who were 
from any port in the northern hemisphere. There 
were also two English schooners standing off and 
on the shore for a similar reason. 

The Captain went on shore to purchase stock, and 


was accompanied by Captain de Saumarez, R.N. f 
Mr. Ross, surgeon, R.N., and myself. A Mr.M'Kay, 
agent to the Consul General of the Azores, offered his 
services to procure whatever we required, and we 
went to his house, where we were very hospitably 
received. Here we were quickly surrounded by 
groups of people laden with provisions of all de- 
scriptions, and while the bargaining was going for- 
ward, I availed myself of the opportunity to visit a 
Franciscan Monastery, which is the only religious 
establishment on the island. It contained thirteen 
resident priests, and for a place of so little trade 
and consequence, might be considered a respect- 
able building. But it did not exhibit any features 
of interest, except a silver lamp in the chapel, 
which, I was informed, was kept continually 

When the purchases were completed, our stock 
was embarked partly in our own boat, and partly 
in a boat hired for the occasion, but the weather 
wore so threatening an aspect, that the people we 
had engaged, peremptorilj- refused to tempt the sea 
that night, although the Captain promised them a 
much larger reward than he had at first agreed 
to give them. I could not but consider the resolution 
of the boatmen a very prudent one, as it certainly 
would have been dangerous to put to sea on a dark 
squally night in two deeply-laden boats, to look for 
a ship on the broad bosom of the ocean, our vessel 
not being in sight at the time we proposed to start. 


We were, therefore, obliged to unload the boats, and 
hire a place for the lodgment of our men and part 
of our stores, the rest being deposited in a cave near 
the beach. This disappointment, which greatly 
annoyed my friends, was to me a source of congra- 
tulation, as it afforded me an opportunity of making 
inquiry respecting the inhabitants and productions 
of the island, which I was before prevented from 
doing, in consequence of the confusion caused by 
the hurried manner in which the barter was carried 
on. There being no public house of entertainment 
on the island, Mr. M'Kay invited the Captain, 
Doctor, and myself to take up our temporary quar- 
ters with him ; while Captain De Saumarez was 
lodged in the house of a respectable native mer- 

The next morning we received intelligence that 
our ship had been seen off the village of Largens, 
where she lay becalmed, and about noon the Cap- 
tain and Surgeon ascended a high hill to look out 
for her, but they looked in vain, and began to en- 
tertain fears that she would not return at all ; in a 
few hours, however, their hopes were revived by 
news of a vessel seen to the westward coming 
towards the port with a fine breeze. We imme- 
diately hastened to re-embark our stores, and 
shoved off in the best possible spirits, hoping 
speedily to arrive on board, and proceed, under all 
sail, for Old England. About sunset, we were 
so close to the vessel, that we were in the act of 


collecting our sticks and umbrellas, when Captain 
De Saumarez happening to look up and descry a 
mizen-top-sail, exclaimed to the discomfiture of the 
whole party, that it was not our ship ! We were 
accordingly obliged to return, and such was the 
consternation and despair of my companions, that 
two of them gave me wagers of five dollars to one 
that the vessel would not return, an opinion which 
I stoutly combatted to the last. I could not induce 
myself to believe that the chief mate would commit 
so serious a derilection of duty as to return to 
England without his Captain, the Surgeon of the 
troops, the ship's boat, and a part of the crew, not 
to speak of the two passengers. To me it was a 
matter of indifference whether she returned or not, 
as my mind was more devoted to adventure than to 
the regular course of the homeward voyage. Not- 
withstanding I could not surrender my confidence in 
the mate, I, however, planned all necessary arrange- 
ments in case of the contingency. We intended, if 
cast on the alternative, to make our way first to 
Fayal and then to St. Michael's, to which places we 
could have easily procured a passage ; proceeding 
from the latter to England, or at all events some part 
of the continent of Europe. On the following day 
various reports reached us about a boat that had 
been seen to make several attempts at landing on 
different parts of the coast, and we hastened down 
to the Custom House in the hope that it might have 
been sent from the Strathfieldsaye, but we were 


again destined to be disappointed ; as it proved to 
be a boat from the brig Falcon, which vessel left 
Bahia a few days after our departure from that port. 
There were two gentlemen in the boat (passengers) 
whom we happened to know, the Hon. Mr. Trench 
and Mr. Wilkins, late midshipmen of H.M.S. 
Samarang. They had passed the whole night at 
sea, but were picked up in the course of the morn- 
ing by an American whaler, who brought them into 
Santa Cruz. Another report reached us in the 
course of the day, of a vessel that was approaching 
the island, and by the observations taken on shore, 
it was concluded that she must be the Strath- 
fieldsaye. This cheering intelligence revived our 
hopes, and we again put to sea with our stores. In 
the course of an hour we reached the vessel, and 
had the satisfaction of finding our hopes confirmed. 
The reason assigned for the disappearance of the 
ship, was the extreme caution that was considered 
necessary in approaching the land on the evening 
of the day we left them, which was very squally ; 
and the light winds and currents that prevailed 
throughout the two succeeding days. 

The island of Flores, as well as all the Azores, 
declared for Don Pedro, in July, 1831, which was 
settled by a sheet of paper from Fayal, much to the 
joy of the inhabitants, who had suffered severely 
from the despotism of Don Miguel. The principal 
employments of the inhabitants are farming and fish- 
ing. They export wheat, maize, and cattle, to 


Fayal. They have, besides horned cattle, a breed 
of asses, and small horses; although, strange to 
say, they have no mules on the island, which 
rather surprised me, as the Portuguese are known 
to make much use of these animals. Their occu- 
pation as fishermen, naturally renders them ex- 
pert boatmen, and, with a little experience, they 
soon become good sailors. They not only fish in 
the immediate vicinity of the island, but go to a 
bank near Corvo, where they catch and cure great 
quantities of fish for their winter consumption, 
first salting them in their boats, and afterwards 
drying them on shore. Turkeys and fowls are abun- 
dant in Flores, but tame ducks are scarce. There 
were wild ducks in the ponds in the middle of the 
island ; woodcocks were occasionally seen, but no 
snipes. Quails, grey canaries, and a few species of 
other small birds were abundant Timber is scarce 
on the island, and the juniper cedar is the principal 
tree. Their fruits are oranges, lemons, peaches, 
figs, grapes, apples, pears, melons, wild straw- 
berries, &c ; and the vegetable productions are 
chiefly yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflowers, 
onions, cucumbers, &c. Grapes are but slightly cul- 
tivated, merely for the table. A rough bridle road 
surrounds the island, intersected by numerous 
tracks to the various farms on the wayside. The 
usual modes of conveyance are on horseback, or by 
palanquins. There is an excellent supply of water 
from several rivulets that flow through the island. 


The island of Corvo, which is seven leagues 
from Flores, contains nine hundred inhabitants, 
and the male population adopt the same occupa- 
tions as the people of Flores. The soil, however, 
is not so fertile, and the greatest portion of the 
wheat raised, is exported to Fayal, where the 
landlords reside ; but, as it is not sufficient to dis- 
charge their rents, they make up the deficiency 
with horned cattle. A very small portion is re- 
tained for home consumption, in the making of 
bread, and other articles, which are, however, 
used only on particular festivals. The farinaceous 
food, in ordinary use, is rye, and ground nuts, 
taken from the roots of a peculiar species of trian- 
gular rush, called funca, which is regularly culti- 
vated for the sake of the nut, and the stem of which 
is from two to three feet in height. There are 
from one to six nuts attached by small fibres to the 
roots of each plant, varying in size from a pea to a 
grain of maize. They may be eaten fresh, and have, 
in that state, an agreeable sweet taste, but they 
are principally dried and bruised, into flour, when 
they are made into bread. There is no safe an- 
chorage for large vessels at Corvo, nor is there a 
good beach for landing. 

As I now approach the period of my return 
to England, I am anxious to satisfy a point of curi- 
osity upon which I have often been questioned, 
and in which those who have accompanied me 
through this narrative, may possibly feel some 

508 author's mode of managing 

slight interest. I mean as to my system of mana- 
ging money transactions ; which, thrown as I was 
so much at the mercy of strangers, must appear to 
have involved considerable difficulty. I will, there- 
fore, state the arrangements I made for the present 
voyage, which were similar to those I uniformly 
adopted in my former travels. 

I took 100/. in five notes, of Hemes and Far- 
quhar's circulars with me, but not with a view of 
turning them into cash on the first occasion of 
wanting money, because it was my intention to 
draw private bills wherever I was sufficiently 
known to obtain credit, which I had the good 
fortune to find much more general than I had any 
right to expect. Indeed, my bills were readily 
taken in every place I visited, without a letter of 
credit, reference, or any other description of secu- 
rity. I took Henries and Farquhar's notes with me 
more as a precautionary measure, intending to use 
them as a reserve, in case I should be shipwrecked 
on the coast of any of the French, Spanish, Dutch, 
-or Portuguese colonies, to serve as a temporary 
-supply, where it was not likely I could be known, 
or where my private bills happened to be declined. 

With respect to drawing bills, I may gene- 
rally observe, that I never entertained any sus- 
picion in such transactions, and have never been 
deceived. But I always acted with caution, apply- 
ing only to respectable merchants or bankers; and 
such was my confidence in their integrity, that I 


had no hesitation in suffering them to draw the 
bills that were to be made payable to themselves, 
frequently signing them when there was no third . 
party present : nor can I recall a single instance in 
which any person attempted to take advantage of 
the confidence I reposed in them, either in the 
receipt, payment, or exchange of monies. In 
making bargains, or estimating the quality of 
articles by their prices, whenever I depended on 
my own judgment, I do not remember that I ever 
had any reason to be dissatisfied, nor do I think 
that in such matters I was more imposed upon, 
than I should have been if I had had my sight. 

In the arrangement of my notes, gold, and 
silver, according to the respective value of each, 
I never found any difficulty ; as a proof of which, 
I may observe that I generally settle my own bills, 
count out the money, and deliver it myself, merely 
referring the receipt to any one who happens to be 
with me, to ascertain whether the amount, date, &c~ 
be correctly stated. Another proof of my circum- 
spection is, that I never made such a mistake a» 
giving a sovereign for a shilling; nor has any body 
ever been so kind as to give me gold for silver. 

Notwithstanding I have travelled so much in 
foreign countries, and had so extensive an inter- 
course with strangers, I think I can safely say, that 
I have not been more deceived, or suffered greater 
losses in money transactions than any of my coun- 
trymen. Thank God ! I have not found sufficient 


cause to arm myself with suspicion, for, although 
there are despicable characters in every country, 
who would not hesitate to take advantage of others, 
I am happy to think that human nature is not so 
bad as she is generally pourtrayed, and that there 
is at least one redeeming quality, which is acknow- 
ledged to exist even in the worst characters — a 
reluctance to practise deceit or treachery on the 
afflicted, as they might be tempted to do on those 
who were capable of protecting themselves. On 
the whole I have much more reason to be grateful 
to mankind, than to complain of any uncharitable- 
ness ; while, from the more educated part of the 
community, I have invariably experienced the most 
convincing evidence of the excellent qualities of the 
human heart, in constant and disinterested acts of 
kindness, hospitality, benevolence, and almost 
universal sympathy. 

On the eleventh day after our departure from 
Flores, we found ourselves half-way up the British 

The mixed feelings of anxiety and pleasure, 
hope and fear, with which the traveller who has 
been long absent from his native country, returns 
home at last, can hardly be understood by those 
who have never passed the shores of their birth- 
place, but who, nursed in the luxury of ease, have 
always lived amidst familiar scenes of unvarying and 
habitual repose. The excitement of the transition 
can scarcely be described, when the vessel floating 

i/envoi. 511 

into the tranquil river, leaves the great expanse of 
waters behind, when, as she ploughs her way slowly- 
through forests of masts, the roofs and spires of the 
city, volumes of smoke, and the buzz and din of 
traffic, indicate that she has entered into the Great 
Emporium of the West ; and when, selecting her 
place of mooring, she drops anchor, perhaps close 
to the quay, and the motion to which the passengers 
have been accustomed for many months suddenly 
subsides, and is succeeded by a confused clamour 
of voices, by sounds burthened, probably from a 
distance, with rejoicings and welcomes, or, it may 
be, with mournful tidings — then the companionship 
of the vessel is dissolved, and each individual, 
drawn by his own sympathies, looks out in trembling 
expectation for the friends that ought to be there to 
greet him — some such thought passing in his mind 
as that which Lord Byron has so exquisitely 
expressed in these lines — 

Tis sweet to hear the honest watch-dog's bark 

Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home, 

'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark 
Our coming, and look brighter when we come. 

The hurry and bustle, the whirl of feet, and loud 
contention of voices, are but the thoughtless prelude 
to more anxious scenes, in which the traveller is 
afterwards to learn what has passed during his 
absence — what calamities have touched his kindred 
— what new sources of happiness have opened upon 
him and his — and who yet survives, of the wide 

512 L* ENVOI. 

circle he left behind him, well and confident of life. 
The retain home is, indeed, the moral of the journey. 
For my part I felt the homily severely, for during 
the period occupied by my last wanderings I had 
the misfortune to lose a father, a brother, and a 
sister, besides several other relatives, and many 
valuable friends. Death had been busy in the 
household, while I had been traversing distant 
lands, unconscious of the bereavements that were 
desolating the homestead ! 

My travels and my toils are now closed : and 
from this point of rest I may venture to look back 
upon the vicissitudes of my career, with, I trust, an 
acknowledging spirit, and a heart equally affected 
by gratitude and wonder. If my undertakings — 
for such they may without vanity be called — be 
productive of no other benefit than that of proving 
to the world how much may be done by a cheerful 
perseverance under a heavy affliction, — how great 
obstacles may be subdued by resolution, — how the 
void of sight may be peopled by an active mind, 
and the desert fertilized by industry, — how much 
hope exists even in the darkest page of life, — and 
how many resources against discontent and lone- 
liness this beautiful and varied earth presents — I 
shall be content to think that my labours have not 
been altogether destitute of utility. I claim no 
literary honours, my avocations have not been in 
the bowers of the Muse — I have been a wanderer 
by sea and land, gathering knowledge by the way, 

l'envoi. 513 

and if the world should pronounce that the materials 
I have collected be but "unconsidered trifles," I 
may still say with Montaigne, that they exhibit 
something that is my own, if it be nothing more 
than " the thread that binds them." 

That I have experienced many difficulties of a 
kind which would have daunted other travellers, I 
cannot conceal even from myself, anxious as I am 
to tread "that side the sun's upon," throughout the 
whole of my diversified course. In the cultivation 
of those pursuits which were pressed upon me by 
the tasks I had prescribed to myself, my health 
suffered severely, and I was compelled to seek in 
my native air (Devonshire) the usual means of 
restoration. But I found that it was necessary to 
try a still more genial climate, and I went to 
France, alone, in 1819. I was then unacquainted 
with any of the continental languages. On this 
occasion I made, what used to be called, the 
Grand Tour, so celebrated in the comedies of 
the last century as the preparatory education of 
young diplomatists and men of fashion. At that 
time such a tour was a matter of serious importance 
and was entered upon with a feeling of gravity, 
that in these days appears somewhat ludicrous. 
The experimental citizen who brought away a 
snuff box from the lava of Vesuvius, was then 
considered a sort of miracle of a man — he is now a 
mere person of pleasure, who is looked upon as 
having visited the continent as a matter of course, 
4 2 l 

514 l/ ENVOI. 

Passing through the south of France into Italy, 
I travelled over the greater part of the southern 
and northern states, crossing into Savoy by Mount 
Cennis, from whence I proceeded via Cham- 
berry to Geneva, and through Switzerland to Basle, 
descending the Rhine to the sea, and from Amster- 
dam making a detour by the Hague, Rotterdam, 
and Antwerp to Brussels, and from thence by 
Ostend home. This tour greatly renovated my 
health, and gave me, by the experience and infor- 
mation which it enabled me to acquire, a fresh 
zest for visiting foreign countries, always keeping 
in view my final desire of circumnavigating the 
globe. In 1822 I went into Russia, traversing a 
great part of Siberia, (two thousand miles^beyond 
Tobolsk) intending to embark at Kamschatka for the 
Russian establishment at Sitka, on the n. w. coast of 
America, hoping that I might take shipping there 
for the Sandwich Islands, China, or some part of 
South America, on my return to Europe. But 
Providence, under the agency of the Emperor 
Alexander, ordained it otherwise. My progress 
was suddenly checked, at the moment when I had 
the fairest prospect of accomplishing my wishes, by 
an imperial mandate, under which I was conveyed 
as a state prisoner to the confines of the empire and 
dismissed. I succeeded, however, in penetrating 
into those wild regions to which Russia consigns 
her criminals, and, perhaps, ought not to murmur 
that my projects were defeated by the suspicious 

l'envoi. 515 

vigilance of the authorities, as I have since heen 
enabled to pursue my objects under happier aus- 
pices than I could then have calculated upon. My 
last adventure has been too recently brought before 
the public to render necessary a recapitulation of 
the scenes it embraces. Sierra Leone, Fernando 
Po, the rivers in the Bight of Biafra, the Brazils, 
Caffreland, Mauritius, Madagascar, the Cormoro 
Islands, Zanzibar, the Seychelles, Ceylon, Ma- 
dras, Calcutta, China, Van Diemen's Land, and 
New South Wales, are the principal points touched 
upon ; but numberless islands are clustered upon 
their track, some of which I have not failed to 
notice, and to which in these Volumes I have 
drawn attention in detail. 

The obstacles against which I had to contend 
in these enterprises, were not confined merely to 
such as obstruct the blind. I went alone, without 
counsel, and without attendance. I was not sus- 
tained by advice or assistance from any body, and 
performed my journies, which were often arduous, 
and which, on the whole, embrace a vast surface, 
upon extremely limited pecuniary means. Had I 
suffered myself to look forward in the spirit of 
precaution, which the example of others might 
have justified, I never could have accomplished the 
objects I proposed. But I relied with enduring 
faith upon the Divine protection, and never sur- 
rendered my confidence in those sympathies which, 
amidst all the faults, and waywardness, and errors 

516 l' EN VOL 

of mankind, are still found to respond to the claims 
of persons circumstanced as I am : and I was not 
disappointed. In the remotest places, where civili- 
zation has sprung up but as a lonely flower in a 
barren soil — amongst crowds of .strangers, speaking 
unknown tongues, governed by foreign usages, and 
alien to me in aspect and associations, I was received 
with kindness and consideration. Friends appeared 
where I could least have hoped for the consolations 
of friendship, the parched waste exhibited its oases, 
the wilderness its grateful and refreshing springs. 
Of the impressions left upon my mind by the 
scenes through which I have passed, perhaps it may 
be expected that I should say something, on account 
of the curiosity that is naturally connected with a 
series of adventures distinguished from all others 
by at least the novel situation of the traveller. To 
the anomaly of a blind man attempting to explore 
distant countries, 

'* Sightless, seeing through the eyes of mind/' 
my narrative owes its chief source of interest ; but, 
as I have already explained in incidental pas- 
sages, the nature of the pleasure I derived from 
the active employment of my faculties, and the 
means I adopted for obtaining the materials upon 
which I occupied my time, it is not necessary 
to demonstrate the advantages or practicability of 
such pursuits, as a relief from the loneliness which 
must have otherwise fallen, like a cloud, upon me. 
That it is possible for a blind man to enter into the 

l'envoi. 517 

business of life with great utility to himself, and, 
perhaps, some benefit to others, and to diminish 
to a considerable degree not only the immediate 
pains of . his position, but the distance at which it 
casts him from communion with the world, and its 
multiplying delights, is sufficiently evidenced in 
these volumes. The general effects of travelling 
are felt, perhaps, more sensibly by the blind than 
by any other class ; if I may venture to predicate 
from my own experience. Undistracted by recollec- 
tions of visual objects, I retain a vivid and distinct 
impression of the outlines and external character of 
every place I have visited. Unacquainted with local 
details to which, perhaps, much of the confusion that 
sometimes disturbs the memory may be referred, I 
have a clearer view of the great points, the for- 
mation, the resources, the population, the habits and 
manners of the different countries through which I 
passed. Their geographical situations are palpa- 
bly fixed upon my mind, which has thus become, 
in some measure by necessity, a sort of map upon 
which the boundaries are traced with indelible 
distinctness, and the interior filled up with unerr- 
ing precision. My associations of ideas are of 
course less complicated than if I perused the out- 
spread volume with my eyes, and the whole work 
of my experience is mental : consequently what- 
ever I retain, I retain permanently, and as far as 
it goes perspicuously. The different climates to 
which I have been exposed, the variations in the 

518 l'envoi. 

modes of living, the changes in the customs of the 
people, and all the transitions following upon 
travels of many years, are as fresh to me as if they 
were but of recent occurrence : and I can recall 
with ease the most minute personal events, dates, 
and names, that lie scattered through the whole. 
Indeed, my recollection is so strong of every thing 
I have witnessed, that I believe I could orally 
recount, without reference to my diary, the entire 
of my wanderings from first to last. I mention these 
trifling peculiarities, as forming, in some sort, an 
illustrative addenda to this publication. 

I cannot part from my readers, or this imperfect 
record of my investigations, without emotion. The 
kindness with which my work has been received, 
the generous allowances that have been made for 
the circumstances under which it was produced, 
and the consideration that has been personally ex- 
tended to me from quarters to which I cannot turn 
without feelings of justifiable pride, will excuse 
the expression of sentiments that may transfer the 
attention of the reader from the book to its author. 
The reader will at least believe that his indulgence 
is not less prized than it is needed, and that the 
last peril of my adventures — his scrutiny — is met 
with a timidity which did not affect me in the 
presence of dangers of a different kind. If I shall 
have succeeded in propitiating his judgment, I 
shall feel that I have done well: and, reposing 
from my toils, review the past as an intellectual 

l'envoi. 519 

ordeal, of which the difficulties are forgotten, and 
the pleasures only remembered. In the future, I 
can hardly promise to myself any indulgence in 
such speculations as have given occasion to these 
volumes, but I cannot contemplate the prospect of 
unemployed solitude, and may, perhaps, be led 
to seek other means of occupying it beneficially. 
Of that, however, it is premature to speak: it is 
enough that I have brought my venture to a safe 
conclusion, although I am unwilling to terminate my 
voyage of circumnavigation, as Sir Walter Raleigh 
closes his history of the world, with the mournful 
inscription of hic jacet. My labours are over — 
but the spirit of the traveller knows no pause, and 
longs for yet untrodden ground. The aspira- 
tion, perhaps, is fruitless, but, like an unfulfilled 
prophecy, it may be permitted to accompany me 
to the end, if it were of no better use than that of 
sustaining those hopes, through which I have been 
enabled to extract from calamity so large a mea- 
sure of enjoyment. 






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